Paul, the writer and Christ follower, had once been Saul, a man who reveled in the persecution – the execution – of Christians.
In the ancient world the people of Corinth were known as unruly, hard-drinking, promiscuous. Paul arrives and spends time with them as their pastor, a year and a half. Sometime later he learns that things are not going well, that the people are struggling, falling back into old patterns. Paul writes a letter. Not a scorning demeaning letter, but words that celebrate and proclaim "God is with you!"
God is with you. God is with me. In these past 40 days many things within me were revealed – things worth celebrating and things hidden, dark patterns in my behavior. I am addicted to control. My weapon is manipulation. My mask is perfection. My anger is often passive, manifesting in depression, a belief that I am beyond help.
Paul-who-was-once-Saul proclaims that the Spirit dives into the depths and brings out what God planned – for me, for you. God invites us to put down the old patterns and celebrate. God loves us.
"Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing
through the churches. I'll give the sacred manna to every conqueror;
I'll also give a clear, smooth stone inscribed with your new name,
your secret new name." —Revelation 2:17 MSG more
God loves us. God calls each of us by a new name.
David Hayward, Naked Pastor God’s Daisy He Loves Me