1Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; 3but anyone who loves God is known by him.
4Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth — as in fact there are many gods and many lords — 6yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
7It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.8“Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 9But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? 11So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. 12But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.
- Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
- Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
- As you pay attention to your deep breath, notice which idol or idols are keeping your from Christ.
- Remember you are in the presence of Christ.
- Name the idol(s), repent, seek forgiveness, and hear the good news that Christ died for your sins. You are forgiven.
- Let go of the idol(s). See Christ before you. Breathe, and know you are forgiven.
- Notice the freedom in your body. Where do you feel lighter?
- Take note of this lightening.
- When you are faced with these idols again, seek Christ in this place of lightening. Christ is always with you.
- As you have time, notice an idol keeping the world from Christ.
- Seek forgiveness for the world.
- How are you called to spread the lightening in the world?
- Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
- Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, January 29, 2012, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD