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“Stay foolish” – 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 / March 3rd, 2024 / Third Sunday in Lent / Hope Lutheran Church, Rev. Lucas Andre Albrecht

1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Theme: “Stay foolish”

Watch the full sermon: (Starting at 28’15”)


Intr – “You are being a fool, everybody cheats to pass on exams, why wouldn’t you?”
“You are being a fool; everybody is taking advantage of this financial possibility. I know it’s now 100% right, but why wouldn’t you?”
“Doing this little thing right when everybody is going the other way won’t change the world. You’re being a fool.”

What would you say to a person who listens to this type of “counsel” in their daily life as they are striving to live up to their principles? We should stay: “Stay foolish”. If being called a fool is the price you pay as you live up to what you believe, then, stay foolish of course.

        In our reflection today, we are reminded that we can do the same when it comes to our spiritual life, to our principles in faith: Stay foolish.

 1 – Wisdom and foolishness

In this secular era where we have become exclusively human, we notice that everything that goes beyond the realm of “what can be seen” may sound foolish. We are invited to become wise and to look for signs, like the Jews and the Greeks. People demand evidence, proof. Things are so geared towards this mindset that when somebody heals from a life-threatening disease against all medical probabilities, we would call it a miracle, but the world has another name for it: spontaneous remission.

Therefore, when it comes to Christ Crucified, the essence of our faith, and the teachings from the Word that we uphold and live in our life, we may get assertions like:

-Your entire life hinges on something or someone you can’t even see that you call God? You’re being a fool.
-You believe that God sent His Son of God as God and Man? -A perfect one, but who ended up dying a criminal for the sins of the entire mankind? I think you’re being a fool.
-Among millions of books in the World you hang all your life in only one, called the Bible, even when there are people saying that it contains several errors and mistakes? I think you are being fooled.
-You would quote me Psalm 19, “the heavens proclaim the glory of God” to say that you believe in a Creator of everything? Hum… it seems foolish to me.
-You believe that those 10 commandments written in Exodus are still valid for today?
-How can you say we will live forever without utilizing cryogeny? This refers to people who want their heads frozen after they die because in future science may produce a full human body, or a robot for that effect, to have that head attached to and they can live forever. (Talk about faith….)

The final comment tends to be the same: you’re being a fool.

2 – Stay foolish

What would we say to you at this point? You know already, from the illustration of the beginning of the Sermon. Stay foolish.

I evoke here two meanings of remaining foolish:

  1. God’s foolishness is wiser than men. You want to stay foolish because what seems foolishness to the World is God’s power for salvation. You want to remain in God’s wisdom, not in the World’s attempt at being wise.
  2. Stay foolish – Some people use this expression in the sense of “don’t think you know everything already”. Remain teachable, learning continually. There is a depth of God’s Wise foolishness in the Bible for your heart and life.

The bottom line is: if people try to compare God’s wisdom to human wisdom asking us to take a stance on one of the sides, that is not even fair.

Ill: Someone tells you, after they do lot of reading and google search, that after hearing symptoms you mentioned you have, your current condition is hemochromatosis(excess of iron in your blood stream). On the other hand, an experienced doctor, an internal medicine specialist, tells you that what you really have is lactose intolerance. Who would you believe?

 That is usually my take on human wisdom that comes to us trying to convince us that the Bible is wrong. It doesn’t matter the topic, it can be Creation of the world, gender identity, beginning and end of life, life after death, etc etc… I would say, “You are asking me to choose between the word of men and the word of God? I’m sorry, but I don’t think this is even fair to begin with.” God’s foolishness is wiser than men’s wisdom. Not think about God’s wisdom! Incomparable. Un-exchangeable. Life-giving wisdom.


3 – Faith

        After all, we see that the decisive matter is faith. By the way, the entire world runs in faith, whether people want to admit it or not. For example:

-When you pick up your medicine at the pharmacy, do you check it deeply to see if it is the one you need?
-What makes you cross the green light without stopping? You trust that other people will stop for their red light.
-As you cross a bridge in the lower mainland area, you just trust that it won’t fall.

These, and much more, are all faith-based attitudes. So the question is not whether you will live by faith or not. The question is where will you place your faith?

St Paul gives us the right place to have our faith connected to: “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

However, don’t forget that Paul says what we preach is “foolishness”. Sometimes we try too hard on making God make sense and be agreeable to the current secular age, and we forget that if people think what we believe is foolish it is because they are right! Think about the foundation of our faith as expressed in the Nicene Creed that we are reciting today and think which of those parts make sense to human wisdom.


Ill: Here’s an illustration about faith in Jesus. I’ve got a good chair here. I am telling you so. It is strong, reliable, nice and will do the job, that is, you can trust that you can sit on it with all your weight. You can buy this piece even with eyes wide shut, you won’t make any mistake. In order to find the truth about this chair, which one of these is the most helpful?
_Listening to the words of the salesman or read something about the chair or its manufacturer;
_Examining with your own eyes every detail;
_sitting down in the chair.
We know the answer. The first two are useful. But it is only the third that really gives you the answer you need. The chair can take your weight. Or not.

You can hear something about Christ, from a pastor, a priest, or a Church. You can read something about Him in the Bible or in some books that speak about him. But you won’t be any sure about it until you “sit down”, until you go through experience of placing faith on Him. Maybe sometimes you are in doubt of ‘sitting down’ in a ‘chair’ you can’t see. Maybe you become afraid of being a fool.

Does that mean that we have to have a blind faith? We don’t need to listen, examine, get to know. Not true. This is all part of our Christian life. But, above all, we need to sit down in confidence. Even because we don’t see the chair.


Cc – Stay foolish. Believe. Hold on to Christ Crucified. We can remain sited in the arms of the Father with all confidence and love. I have no doubt that he can take our weight.

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