Monday, February 19 — Belong — 1 Corinthians 1:1-19

“Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you should be in agreement and that there should be no divisions among you, but that you should be united in the same mind and same purpose.” 
    Brene Brown defines belonging this way: “Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us…True belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world…” In many ways, she is right on target. Throughout our Bibles, we have a narrative of people — our fathers and mothers in faith — seeking to be a part of something larger than them. We see these people wrestle with their authentic selves as they attempt to find true belonging. Some are successful and find belonging in the community of God that we call the Kingdom of God. Some are tragically unsuccessful and struggle their whole lives to belong.
    We find Paul writing in today’s text about a community struggling to define belonging. Some in this early Christian community claimed to belong to one leader; others to another leader. Paul makes the point that the family to which we all belong provides us with a place of unity. The family of God is a place where we are given a place to be ourselves, as imperfect as we are. We belong to the family of God because we belong first to God.  
    During our Lenten journeys, we are called to reflect upon how we present ourselves to God. Before we find unity with the people of God, we must first be honest and authentic with God. Are we presenting ourselves authentically to our community and to God? What do you need to do to be more honest with God? What do you need to say to God? 

Through Jesus, you have shown us true belonging. You have shown us unconditional love. You have shown us self-sacrifice. We pray that you will enlighten us to the ways that we can grow in our sense of unity with you and with the family you have created. Give us the capacity to be honest with ourselves and with you so that we can truly belong to you, O God. Amen.