A reflection on 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 for the Third Sunday After Epiphany, January 24, 2021
I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (NRSVA)
Somehow I read this passage – in light of the Epiphany season – as an invitation to consider how the revelation of Jesus and the Kingdom he represents changes your relationship with the world.
After all, the light has come. You should see differently.
The Apostle Paul clearly believes that this come-and-coming kingdom should impact our closest of relationships, our sense of loss and joy within this world, our business and purchasing habits.
The light of Christ allows us to see clearly enough to hold loosely to this world – this earth-kingdom – that is passing away.
To be sure, this is not to say there is no meaning or significance to our marriages, victories, losses. It is not to say there is no place for recognition or reward for our work.
It is, however, a timely reminder that these things – so capable of consuming us – only find their right place as we see them bathed in the revealing light of Jesus.
May the kingdom of light give you twenty-twenty vision.
What of the things of this world that Paul lists are you most prone to invest yourself in? How might the ‘light’ change this?
What do you hold more loosely to as a result of the gospel?