Bringing the Text to Life

Scissors, Paper, Rock 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

"Tough as nails." "Hard as a rock." "Solid as a brick." Those are our metaphors for strength and sturdiness. God, however, hardly ever seems to agree. The divine preference is for security in fluidity and victory in vulnerability, defying our concrete convictions.

Do you remember as a kid playing the ancient game "scissors, paper, rock?" You and a friend would beat three counts into your palm with a fist, and on the third count would reshape your fist into either "scissors" (two fingers extended), "paper" (a flattened hand), or "rock" (keeping the fist). You "won" based on the following rules: Scissors cut paper, paper covers rock (this one always seemed the game's weak point), and rock breaks scissors. The game was an expression of power - who was stronger, who had control - without having to resort to actual violence.

Our adult convictions about where strength and security can be found sometimes seem as simplistic as that old scissors, paper, rock trinity. Perhaps we now translate them into a more grownup trilogy of technology, money and military might. But they represent the same degree of sophistication and understanding about strength. We pretend to teach our children that "might doesn't make right," but our lifestyles and commitments...

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