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Mid-Week with Christ
February 12, 2020

Farmers and Fields

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? 5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

Prayer for the Day

Almighty, eternal God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of heaven and earth and man, together with Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Word and Image, and with Your Holy Spirit: Have mercy upon us and forgive us our sins for Your Son’s sake, whom You have made our Mediator according to Your wonderful counsels, and do guide and sanctify us by Your Holy Spirit, who has poured out upon the apostles. Grant that we may truly know and praise You throughout eternity! Amen. (Prayer attributed to Philipp Melanchthon) 

Today we remember Philipp Melanchthon. Without him there might never have been a restoration of the Gospel to the centre of the Church's proclamation. He was a professor of the New Testament and teacher of the Greek language in Wittenberg, Germany alongside Martin Luther. He drafted the Augsburg Confession of 1530, wrote the defense of that confession in response to Rome's refutation, and while sick incited a heroic prayer from Luther that God simply could not allow him to die. 

Most people know of Luther and John Calvin, but few remember the names of people like Melanchthon. But God's work in the world is not done only through the bold and brash, but also through the quiet and studious; through the calm and caring; through, in effect, people with all sorts of gifts. 

"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth." Farming is more than planting seeds. The seeds must be watered. Weeds must be pulled. Fertilizer needs to be applied. And the harvest must be brought in. God needs all sorts of farmers to work in his fields. More importantly, he often needs them to work together. Only through these varied types of people and service does the harvest grow. 

Melanchthon was a Latinization of his German name, Schwartzerdt, which means "black earth." It was a name with a good farming connection. Luther was certainly the bold face of the German reformation, sowing the seeds of the Saviour. But Philipp watered, others fertilized, and through them all God granted growth. May we learn not to despise one person and privilege another, but see how God uses many gifts to spread the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ's death for our sins. 
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