From the Well - 3/15/2018

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1 Corinthians 15:1-11 (NRSV) 
1 Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2 through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you-unless you have come to believe in vain. 3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them-though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

One of my favorite stories from Robert Fulgham comes from a seminar that he attended on the island of Crete. The seminar was conducted by Alexander Papaderos, a scholar and political leader of the land. There were intellectuals and scholars from all across Greece present. At the last session Dr. Papaderos rose from his chair in the back of the room and walked to the front, where he stood in the bright Greek sunlight of an open window. Fulgham writes:

He turned and made the ritual gesture: "Are there any questions?" Quiet quilted the room. These two weeks had generated enough questions for a lifetime, but for now there was only silence. "No questions?" Papaderos swept the room with his eyes. So I asked: "Dr. Papaderos, what is the meaning of life?" The usual laughter followed, and people stirred to go.

Papaderos held up a hand and stilled the room, and looked at me for a long time, asked with his eyes if I was serious and saw from my eyes that I was.

"I will answer your question," he said. Taking his wallet from his hip pocket, he fished out of it a very small round mirror about the size of a quarter. And what he said went something like this:

"When I was a small child, during the war, we were very poor, and we lived in a remote village. One day, on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror. A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place.

I tried to find all the pieces and put them together, but it was not possible, so I kept only the largest piece. This one. And by scratching it on a stone made it round. I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine.

I kept the little mirror, and as I went about growing up, I would take it out at idle moments and continue the challenge of the game. As I became a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child's game, but a metaphor of what I could do with my life. I came to understand that I am not the light or the source of the light. But light--truth, understanding, knowledge--is there, and it will shine in dark places if I reflect it. with what I have I can reflect into the dark places of this world--into the black places of human hearts--and change some things in some people. Perhaps others seeing it happen will do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of life."1

Being followers of Jesus-people with a resurrection faith-means that we shine a light into the dark corners of our world. Where are you shining your light? Think about it.

Matthew

1 Robert Fulghum, It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It (New York, NY: Random House Books, 1989), 68.