Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Week of January 31, 2021
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.
(1 Corinthians 8:1b, NRSV)


Well now, this is a tricky one for me because you should see my bookshelves. Not only have I been an avid reader all my life but I have also homeschooled three children. I asked for and received IKEA bookshelves last Christmas and I talked about them for months. I loooove books and learning and teaching.

Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. How to make sense of this?

I think the answer lies in a place of struggle for me and for many: balance.

God has never implied that we should check our brains at the church door. God invented thinking; thinking is good! But without the balancing leaven of a generous amount of love, knowledge will not come to a good end, will not nurture or be fruitful. Knowledge alone is not enough.

Do you ever find it easier to read about God than to actually quiet your soul and be with God? I do. I can read all day and learn and ponder, but I sometimes meet internal resistance when I go to spend time with God alone. Really being with God requires me to let some things I am holding fall away, and it stings as they go and I can feel it. To move from my walking-around working self to my contemplative, open self is temporarily uncomfortable. But the opening of my heart to God is the most important thing I do, and the more often I do it, the easier it becomes and the less I have to let go of. Opening to the love of God is what enables knowledge to be used to change the world.

Blessings on us as we learn, blessings on us as we love, and may we all be led toward balance.


God, we ask that you weave knowledge and love together in our hearts so that we may be your instruments of change in the world. Amen.

Lindy ThompsonLindy Thompson
Lyricist and Poet
Christ United Methodist Church
Franklin, TN 


Photo: Pixabay


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