Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1: 18-25
(this Lent my church is doing a focus on mental health: this is the scripture and theme for this Sunday)
Paul writes in this scripture with antitheses–posing opposites to one another in the style of Greek rhetoric. Antitheses elaborate the alternatives: the world’s wisdom versus God’s wisdom; stumbling block (scandal) and folly versus God’s power. Satirically, God at the most “foolish” and weakest, as seen in the crucified Jesus, trumps the greatest human wisdom and strength.
Paul is not against wisdom, but is against the practice of claiming status over someone else who is also called and being saved. Some in Corinthian community were wealthy, powerful, of noble birth and thus “wise” by human standards. Most were not. Paul is speaking into tensions in the community and pointing them to Christ. As the great teacher for the early Christian community, Paul points out the human tendency to try to elevate oneself over others for the sake of one’s own sense of self-esteem or importance. Paul is naming human status-seeking as foolish, and the incarnate One who became crucified on a lowly cross as wise.
Paul’s words continue to speak into our own human ways of dividing our humanity, of seeking status instead of the wisdom of the cross. In what, perhaps subtle ways, might you seek to feel better about yourself because of your job, your socioeconomic level, your race/ethnicity? How might God be calling you away from the “foolishness” of the wisdom of the world (with its focus on status) and toward the wisdom of the cross–in which our value and worth comes from Christ?
We will practice some “foolish” poses–poses that look funny or invite a playful spirit like happy baby and falling tree. Then we will move into some yin poses so that our bodies can open up to their wisdom—and by so doing tune us into God’s wisdom.
Yin yoga usually consists of a series of long-held floor poses that work the lower part of the body–hips, pelvis, legs, and lower spine. The poses are held for up to five minutes, which allows for an enriching stretch to the connective tissues. Yin has lots of great benefits:
- Calms and balances the mind and body.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Increases circulation.
- Improves flexibility.
- Releases fascia and improves joint mobility.
- Balances the internal organs and improves the flow of energy (from https://www.ekhartyoga.com/articles/the-benefits-of-yin-yoga)