The Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:11-16
“… the spirit of man which is in him .” (v.11) RSV
Human beings are not spirits, they are souls, but they do have a spirit. In our reading Paul refers to “the spirit which is in him” (v.11). When Jesus was dying on the cross he “cried with a loud voice and said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!’”, or as the old version said: “He gave up the ghost”.
This spiritual aspect responds to beauty and love. All humans have a spiritual side to them, though some may ignore it and overlay it with material pleasures and concerns; they may also overrule it by depending on reason and science.
We ignore our spiritual side to our peril. We should feed our spirits by taking time to be quiet and enjoy beautiful things, especially nature. However these things alone will not connect us to God. Or if they do so, it will be very abstract and impersonal. The Christian faith describes us as being spiritually dead (Ephesians 4:18). This is made clear in our reading when Paul writes, “The unspiritual man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him …” (v.14).
God is Spirit and those who wish to be in touch with him and in fellowship with him, have to be made spiritually alive. We need to be “born from above/again” (John 3:3), and we need to be fed spiritually with “the pure spiritual milk” (1 Peter 2:2). If we also worship God regularly both on our own and together with others, then we will grow strong in our spirits. The things of God will become our chief love.
Jesus worshipped in the Temple and in synagogues. He often went off by himself to pray. Such spiritual disciplines are vital for all people. Without them we lose touch with God and we become weakened and subject of other forces.
Lord, thank you that you have made me so that my soul is restless until it finds its rest in you. Teach me to love you and to seek you day by day. Amen.
1 How did Jesus teach us to pray?
2 How important is it to meet together with other believers?