The Day will disclose it

The Day will disclose it

1Cor 3:11-15 NRSV

11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 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. 14 If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.

How do you know if what you are building in someone else’s life is something will survive the fire test? The implication in this passage from Paul’s letter to Corinth is that sometimes ministry is empty. Sometimes what we build in the lives of others appears to have substance but it is flimsy and fragile. I’ve been thinking about that. I’ve been wondering if what I’ve done for the kingdom would survive a fire test.

Do I really want to face God and have to explain why I spent so much time doing ministry that so rarely made a significant difference in someone else’s life. Why did I keep doing the things I’ve always done? Why was I content with what I did? Why didn’t I risk more and look for that which would move things forward? There were stories of God’s people living like Jesus and doing the same things he did. Why didn’t I take their stories seriously? Why did I assume that somehow my situation was different and what I see around me is the best one can expect?

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