Epiphany 4 Year B 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Preparation: Address an envelope to “The Children of (your church).”  Try to make it look like an actual letter from Paul, so the return address should be Ephesus.  Find a good sticker to serve as a stamp.  The only thing that needs to be on the letter inside is “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”

Faith+Open: As the children gather, show them the letter and ask if any of them have every gotten a letter or card in the mail, wait for a few answers.

Faith+Share:  Today we heard a little bit of a really long letter.  The letter was written by a guy named Paul to one of first churches in a city called Corinth.  The part that we heard talks a lot about food, meat in particular.  There seems to be a whole lot of worry about what meat to eat, and if it’s ok to eat meat from temples that do not worship God and Jesus.  As I was reading through the part of the letter that we heard it seemed to me that Paul was kind of saying, “You know what?  This whole thing about meat is not really the point.”  I looked back at the beginning of the passage and saw this little sentence, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”

Pull out your letter here and show the children the words.

What the heck does that mean?  Well, let’s think about this another way.  Have you ever met a know-it-all?  Someone who thinks that they have all the answers?  Paul is talking to some people like that.  You see, the people of the church in Corinth were telling people that they knew what God wanted, and that all people should just live like them.  Paul says to them that they might be right, but being a know-it-all about it just makes people feel bad.  See, there were some people in that church who thought that it was wrong to eat the meat from the temples, they thought that God would not love them any more if they did eat it.  Paul said, if it makes some people uncomfortable then you should not do it, even if you know that God will still love you.  That comes back to our letter from Paul.  Being a know-it-all puffs people up, it makes the know-it-all seem mean and makes the people around upset.  But, if we listen to each other and act in love it builds us all up and makes us a stronger and happier group of people.

Faith+Prayer: :  Loving God, help us to being loving toward each other in all our actions.  Teach us to share what we know in ways that build up our community.  Help us remember that you love us no matter what.  Amen

Faith+Blessing: May your eyes be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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