Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Special thanks to Peggy Graff and her guests for providing this uplifting and inspiring addition to us in her Hymn-a-Day May series. I pray that these paired daily selections will uplift your spirits and feed your soul as much as it does mine.
1 Corinthians 9:20-23
20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.
The apostle Paul often talked about himself in his letters to the churches—most of which he founded. He did that not only in helping people to know him better, but also to give and example to follow and to defend himself against his detractors.
One can read between the lines here and imagine that Paul was accused of conforming to whatever crowd he was with on any given day. If he was with Jews, then he fully kept the laws found in the Hebrew scriptures. If he was with Gentiles, then he behaved and ate like a Gentile. If he was with the “weak,” that is, those whose beliefs would keep them from eating meat that had been sacrificed to false idols, for example or those sociologically disadvantaged, then Paul would become as one of them.
The important thing Paul wants to get across is that he does this not to “fit in,” but “for the sake of the gospel (good news), so that I can share its blessings.” Today we might call that contextual ministry, or meeting people where they are.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster