I had the “joy” of spending a good portion of my day off today cleaning up after flooding in our garage and some water that got into our storage room. We had a crazy amount of rain the last few days and at one point we had two drains get plugged with dirt and leaves. We ended up with about 1-2″ of water in our basement level garage and the water seeped some into our storage room. Today was the clean up day. It wasn’t a lot compared to the flooding that others have (and are) experienced but it was still a bit of a pain.
Everything had to come out of the garage and storage room, some things needed to be thrown away, the dirt and leaves needed to be swept and pulled out and eventually everything put back in. There was dirt and mud that had gotten onto a lot of the things in the tow rooms. Things needed to be looked at, cleaned off, and dealt with.
I feel that Paul is doing a bit of this with the church in Corinth as he begins his letter. He isn’t messing around with what he shares with them. While he starts with words of friendship and connection in chapter one, he jumps fully in with his concerns about the divisions in the church. By the time we get to chapter 3 Paul is getting right down to the question of the foundations they are building upon.
Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. (1 Cor 3:10-14)
As the letter continues Paul is going to pull out more and more for the Corinthian church to look at and (for Paul) to toss out because of the ways they have let the crud pile up and missed the core foundation of unity in Christ.