Kindness overlaps significantly with several of Paul's other "fruit of the spirit." What makes it a distinctive mark of the new creation?
Epiphany | Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany (Year A)
Micah 6:1-8; Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12
Paul has a way with a sneer. Nineteen times in 1 Corinthians 1, Paul mentions wisdom, and each time we hear a growing sneer in his voice, until he nominates Christ as the wisdom of God. The word "wisdom" is distasteful to him because it is wooing the Corinthians to pursue a dead wisdom when they might turn to a wisdom he calls the "source of life"--and come alive. When Paul writes that Christ is the wisdom of God, he's tapping into an ancient way of speaking about God. He's drilling down into proverbs, where wisdom plays the part of the creative spirit of God. Wisdom is begotten of God, the firstborn of all creation, the very spirit alive in Creation, a feminine expression of God. This isn't just some hocus pocus stuff from the Old Testament, either. The New Testament writers are so influenced by this thinking that they pay homage to Lady Wisdom everywhere.