Summary: A sermon about the wisdom and power of the Cross.
"Look What God Chose"
There's an old story about a woman named Ruby Turpin.
Ruby was obsessed with status and class.
In the story, Ruby was in a doctor's waiting room, sizing up everyone there in the room according to their class.
In fact, at night Ruby would spend her time naming the classes of people and putting certain persons into different categories.
On the bottom of her list were poor black people and those she termed "white trash."
Above these folks were homeowners such as Ruby and her husband Claude.
And on the top of the class list were people with lots of money and much bigger homes.
Ruby used to get frustrated by her rankings because she was aware that, in her mind, some of the people she knew who had lots of money were actually "very common and ought to be below she and Claude."
So, Ruby Turpin was meditating--out loud-- about these things in that doctor's waiting room.
And there happened to be a college student sitting in the waiting room reading a book entitled "human development."
And this college student had gotten to the point where she had all she could stand of Ruby Turpin's judgments about people.
So she hurled the book across the room, hitting Ruby Turpin just above her left eye, and then she began to strangle her, saying, "Go back to hell where you came from, you old warthog!"
It's been suggested that the Apostle Paul's words to the people of Corinth are no less jolting than being hit between the eyes by a book on human development!!!
And this is because Paul reminds us about the foolishness of the Gospel, which has, at its heart--A Crucified Savior!!!
And crucifixion was more than just a state-sponsored style of execution.
Crucifixion was the most shameful and demeaning way to die.
There you were, naked, nailed to wooden planks for the entire world to see and scoff at with birds picking at your flesh and dogs waiting at the bottom to eat your dead body.
It may very well have been embarrassing to some of the early Christians to know and realize that the "Lord" they worshipped had been killed by being crucified.
That was a death reserved for the lowest of the low.
It was horrible...
It was done to the lowliest of criminals, the hated, the despised...
...the losers in life.
And it was done to Jesus Christ!!!
And so Paul writes, "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed.
But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved."
Why would Paul feel the need to write these words to the Church in Corinth?
Shouldn't they already know this?
Did they need to be reminded?
What was going on?
Well, we need to back up a little bit in order to get our clue.
In 1 Corinthians 1:10 Paul writes: "brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Agree with each other and don't be divided into rival groups.
Instead, be restored with the same mind and the same purpose."
He goes on to say that he has heard from some of the Christians there that the Church is "fighting with each other."