Thursday of Epiphany V – I Corinthians 2:1-12

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

He could be an odd man; I suppose you might call him rather eccentric. He was my teacher when I was a freshman in high school. All freshmen in high school think their teachers are odd. It just goes with being 14. While I was at the seminary, he also entered the pastoral ministry and served a congregation not far from where I served my first parish. I came of course to know him differently and came to call him a friend. He had not become less eccentric as the years had passed. He was very fastidious about certain things. We once drove together to a distant pastoral gathering and I noticed that he manually initiated the turn signal for each blink of the blinker in his car. I asked if his turn signal was broken, “No, no,” He replied, “it just flashes a little too rapidly for my preference, so I do it this way.”

Several years later he retired and returned to that community where I went to high school and not far from where my parents lived. One terrible night my father died, and my family all came back to that large church for his funeral. After the service there was my old teacher and colleague. He had known my parents well and had taught most of my siblings. He was still a little eccentric. He was serving in his retirement as an assistant to the pastor of that parish. He walked through the room, greeting people, stopping at each table, and talking,

I will never forget the words of resurrection and peace he spoke to me that day, when we were saddened by the death of our father. He did not come with lofty speech or sophisticated wisdom which the world would prize. He came with the secret and hidden wisdom of God which this broken heart needed. I praise God for sending me my friend, my teacher, and colleague.

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