By Emily Hylden

A Reading from 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

1 I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them, and they were struck down in the wilderness.

6 Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not become idolaters as some of them did, as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.” 8 We must not engage in sexual immorality, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. 10 And do not complain, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.


Of how much can we be certain? Where is our certainty founded? The media would profess a huge amount of certainty about a great many things — even conflicting things! There’s comfort in feeling like you can count on something, like you don’t have to examine or question or think about it. Children ought to be certain of their parents’ love; all people ought to be certain of having enough food to eat and clean water to drink; our certainties in the modern world are often much more trivial, but just as dearly held, as these needful certainties.

We may be certain of the God made known in Jesus Christ. All else is shifting sand. In the passage today, we read of all sorts of ways that our ancestors placed trust in other things, the ways that humility can be eroded and pride can make us unsteady.

There’s a bigger, deeper comfort in limiting the things of which we’re certain. If we profess and cling to certainty in many things, then we have so many ways in which we might fall, bound by pride, and in which we might be disappointed, even torn asunder. But if we commit to only one place in which to stand, as Paul puts it today, then we may rest easy that God’s foundation will never let us fall.

The Rev. Emily R. Hylden resides with her priest husband and three sons in Lafayette, Louisiana. Find her podcasting at Emily Rose Meditations.

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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

Church of the Holy Faith, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America


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