Summary: paul at corinth
Bishop Lindsey Davis, our bishop of the North Georgia Conference, is an avid golfer, so much so that when we went to Augusta for the North Ga Conference they gave him a green jacket – I’m not sure why – I’m kidding I do know the significance of a green jacket in Augusta. Anyway, Bishop Davis likes to think of himself as a natural golfer, with a natural talent for the game. He didn’t think he need lessons or anyone to help him with his game.
Until this past year, over the summer he said his game rally went south, if you know what I mean, so he gave in and signed up for golfing lessons. When he arrived at the club for the lessons he was greeted by a young boy and was taken back a bit when this young boy introduced himself as the golf pro. Bishop Davis was anxious to get started so he and this boy pro went out onto the driving range to begin his lesson. The pro told him it would take him just a minute to set up his equipment. The boy then began setting up all this video equipment. By this point Bishop Davis was beginning to become a little frustrated. He had humbled himself and come up to improve his golf game and this young boy was busy taking videos.
Finally the golf pro instructed Bishop Davis to take a couple of swings at the ball. Bishop Davis was pleased with himself and felt he was showing the boy some pretty good swings when the pro stopped him and told him to come inside. By now Bishop Davis was convinced to think he had wasted a lot of time and money on these golf lessons. The young golf pro took Bishop Davis into his office and asked him to sit down. He turned on his computer and pulled up the video of Bishop Davis and his swing up on the computer screen. Then he split the screen and place a video of Tiger Woods and his swing on the other side of the screen. Slowly and painfully Bishop Davis said the golf pro went through and compared Bishop Davis swing to Tiger Woods swing – pointing out all of Bishop Davis flaws in his execution.
When all was said and done, a rather deflated Bishop Davis asked the pro what was the root of his problem and the young pro hemmed and hawed a bit before he told the Bishop, “well, uh Bishop Davis, sir, you have a stagnant bottom.” A stagnant bottom! The Bishop said he expected a dropped shoulder, a lazy hand grip, or wrong placement of the club but a stagnant bottom! The pro went on to point out “You see, sir, when you execute your swing your back side, if you will, just kind of sits there and does nothing. If you really want to experience the full power of your swing you have to get your back side, your whole body into the swing.
Bishop Davis said he began to ponder that a lot and began to wonder if part of our problem in the church was that our pulpits and pews might afflicted with the same stagnant bottom syndrome. He began to wonder what it would be like if the church, the whole church – every member in every church-- the whole body of Christ got into the swing of things, what it would be like for us to experience the full power, full spirit, the full being of the Body of Christ.
I wonder if someone was to take a video of our Church and lay it on a screen next to an image of Jesus Christ as our example and head of the church on the other side – I wonder if they would find we suffer have stagnant bottoms.
In our text this morning Paul is speaking to a church that is definitely suffering from stagnant bottoms. The city of Corinth was a very difficult place for ministry. After having departing from Barnabas Paul stayed in Corinth longer than anywhere else. For eighteen long months he worked to strengthen the church. And then after he left what should he hear but that the Corinth church is in trouble again!
Some of its members had begun to feel they had done they job in the church and that it was no longer necessary for them to do anything. They had done their time and so they were just sitting in their pews waiting for others to do the work. Then there was some in the church who thought they and their job was the most important and that nobody else in the church mattered or had a anything important to say or add to what they were doing. The church had become divided in it purpose and activity rendering itself ineffective – lacking the full power of the Holy Spirit