In this passage, Paul speaks of the goals of his ministry, namely, to preach to those who do not yet have a foundation in Christ. Though they may not have yet accepted Christ as their own, Paul keeps faith that members of his audience are filled with a fundamental goodness. This goodness underlies what may appear to be a mix of differing and sometimes contradictory beliefs, but it aligns with a message to love and act kindly toward one another. Such goodness is thus present in everyone and is fortified in Paul’s teaching of the word of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for this opportunity to come before you and to consider the message that you delivered through Jesus Christ. Guide us to identify and use the goodness within ourselves for the benefit of others, even as we need our own reminders toward discipleship and fellowship in you. As Paul, help us to see the goodness in those with whom we agree and with whom we disagree, and to love each of those. The world can seem increasingly divided, whether between nations, classes, or belief systems, yet guide us not lose sight of the goodness that each of us shares. Guide us to use our gifts to find unity among disunity and peace among tension, and in doing so, to ground our actions in your love.
Charlie Daniel, ’20