Just when I blogged in my previous post about giving up my rights for the sake of serving others, I was also reminded that I need not rupture the theological tension between an ethics of pleasure (based on what God considers good) and an ethics of sacrifice for the good of my neighbor. I was dropping my teenage son off at the Adler Planetarium last Saturday for his internship there as an astro-journalist, when I decided to stick around the area (instead of driving home) and simply enjoy the beauty of a nice sunny Chicago day (such a welcome relief after the brutal winter we had!). Walking along Lake Michigan, I enjoyed this scene:
|Photo taken with my iphone near the Adler Museum|
When Paul quotes Psalm 24:1 (= 23:1 LXX) concerning his teaching on idol food in 1 Cor 10:26: “The earth and its fullness are the Lord’s” (τοῦ κυρίου γὰρ ἡ γῆ καὶ τὸ πλήρωμα αὐτῆς), he reminds the Corinthians that: 1) if there is anything good in the world, it is comes as a gift from God since everything belongs to Him; and 2) therefore, we can celebrate the sovereignty of God, especially over false idols and fake gods, and receive with gratitude creation-gifts which are a sign of the Creator’s grace and favor. It is also likely that Paul drew the quotation of Psalm 24:1 from the common practice in Judaism to recite this verse (along with others; e.g., Pss 50:12; 89:11) as part of the prayers voiced before a meal (see b. Sabb. 119a; Garland, 1Cor-BECNT, p. 482).
Despite the rain all this mid-week, I was reminded this past weekend about how good the Lord is, and how beautiful the earth can be, as I took a much needed prayer walk around the sunny shoreline of Chicago. Blessings!