I'll start by asking you to reflect for a moment on this question. If somebody were to ask you, "What are you hoping for?" what would you say? What's the big deal you're hoping for? Maybe it's at your work like some promotion or a project or a deal. Maybe it's a relationship. Maybe it's a broken one or one that you don't have. Maybe it's around health or the health of somebody you love. We're all hopers.
Two thousand years ago, Paul was writing to his friends in Corinth in this church in this up and coming city that was filled with talented, ambitious, successful people, people who had come to this small town to make a name for themselves. He wanted to remind them who they were in light of what Jesus had just done overcoming death and sin and the grave. He was calling them into their new identity they were part of now in mission in a way of life that was bigger than themselves, so Paul writes to them. In 1 Corinthians, he says
In Philippians 4:4 it says: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! So, in worship, we should choose joy. We should live in joy. Paul was in trouble. Paul was in chains. Paul was facing death when he wrote these words.
Class, the word for today is “wow”, because when we experience delight or wonder or gratitude or just what a miracle it is to be alive, that's kind of the word beyond definition. "Oh, wow!" I wonder if we were all to say what the biggest wow of our lives so far has been, what it would be for you? There would be some amazing stories, I’m sure.
I'm going to provide like most weeks, an imperfect blurb. I hope you’re okay with that? I’m living proof imperfection is so fundamental to human life. The Church in fact is a place where nobody is perfect. It's a little ironic to me, when people are interviewing for a job, and they're asked, what is your biggest flaw? They very rarely actually name a flaw.