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Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there are quarrels among you, my brothers and sisters. What I mean is that each of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power. 1 Corinthians 1:10-18
One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock. Psalm 27-4-5
by Joan Curbow
Paul exhorts the Corinthians not to be divided.
How ironic that this reading comes to us at the brink of a new presidential reign, after a time of horrid division. The divisions continue, and I confess that I do not know how to set my sights above my fears, except to acknowledge that my fears are minuscule compared to many who have legitimate reasons to fear the future.
How can the Church make real the Psalmist’s assertion that the Lord will keep us and hide us in time of trouble? How can we hold our brothers and sisters high upon a rock in times of turmoil?
Joan Curbow is a reference librarian and archivist at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa.