What is it with trumpets this week in the lectionary?
If you read the last devotional, you might have picked up on two trumpet references. (Like a Trumpet.) In the Message version of today’s scripture, we see another invitation to “blow a trumpet for God.” As a former bassoonist, I protest. We never see our instruments elevated like this! Flutes, lyres, harps, drums, and trumpets get all the glory in the Bible. But you will never read, “David lifted his bassoon and soothed Saul with his music.” Nope, not gonna happen.
In today’s reading, Paul wrote to the church in Corinth and laid out an argument against the arrogance of the Jews and Greeks who were proclaiming that the crucifixion and resurrection were utter nonsense. He built the case that God chose humble, ordinary folks like them to reverse the ideas of wisdom and stupidity, miracles and anti-miracles, strength and weakness, etc., and invited them to celebrate their “nobody” status:
1 Corinthians 1 (The Message)
18-21 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,
I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as shams.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered stupid —preaching, of all things! —to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.
“God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered stupid — preaching, of all things! — to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.” Amen, brother. Speaking for myself, sometimes my preaching is truly stupid, and surely all of us, laity and clergy alike, sound stupid to the non-believer when we preach forgiveness of sins, salvation through Christ, and the resurrection we all share with the Son of God himself. Stupid, indeed.
Stupid-smart, as it turns out.
22-25 While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so cheap, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”
Paul is exactly right. Human wisdom is cheap and impotent next to the absurdity of the cross.
26-31 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”?
This is when being a nobody is the greatest thing in the world. Do you ever feel like a nobody? Never mind. You truly are somebody to God.
That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”
Everything we have comes from God through Jesus Christ our Lord. And Christ gave us his everything. His heart, his mind, his teaching, his healing, his life on the cross, and the promise of life abundant. He didn’t withhold a thing. Neither should we. Now that is something to blow a trumpet about!
Or even a bassoon.
Horn Blowers by Michelle Robertson
So glad you added the bassoon at the end of devotion or I would have immediately! Thou shall not belittle the bassoon!