Paige Zavaglia, RE Teacher
My New Year’s Resolution for 2018 was to watch less Netflix. I had hoped, with less time devoted to my screen, that I would be able to engage in more meaningful pursuits. So far, I am proud to say I have done fairly well. Instead of watching episode after episode on Netflix, I have managed to devote much more of my time to watching Stan. To my great surprise, I am now six seasons deep into the US version of The Office.
Set in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the workplace of a nearly obsolete paper company called Dunder-Mifflin, The Office makes light of the everyday struggles of working in a job you just don’t love, with a group of people you just don’t like. Unsurprisingly, in such a setting, there is plenty of comedic conflict. In The Office, this conflict almost always boils down to one of the characters thinking they understand something more or can do something better than others.
Recently, as I was reading through the book of 1 Corinthians, I couldn’t help but draw a comparison to the characters that I am now well and truly acquainted with. We learn in the first few chapters of the book that Paul is writing to the church in Corinth because there has been great disagreement there. Unlike The Office, the people in Corinth are not fighting because of one of Jim’s pranks, but because they are in disagreement over who is the wiser. Just like in The Office, we discover that the early church in Corinth was severely divided over whose wisdom was better.
In 1 Corinthians 2, we hear a response to this division from the Apostle, Paul. Paul expresses his disappointment over the disunity in Corinth. He argues that although the people of Corinth were claiming to be very wise, their wisdom was, in reality, quite follysome because it was rooted in the wisdom of their culture. Instead, Paul argues that the Corinthians should follow a wisdom that he believed to be greater; a wisdom that he thinks transcends the ages. It is revealed towards the end of the chapter that he is referring to the wisdom of God.
Paul quotes a verse from Isaiah:
‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ – Oh, what things God has prepared for those who love him!
You might be wondering: if no eye can see, and no ear has heard, and no human mind can conceive of this wisdom of God, then how exactly were the people of Corinth (and for that matter, how are we) supposed to understand Him?
Paul declares that the wisdom of God, the very key that is needed to understand who God is and the reality of this world, has been made visible, audible and conceivable by the revelation of God himself in Jesus Christ. We are able to get a glimpse of the things that God has prepared for those who love him because the one who loves us came down from heaven to reveal it.
To this end, Paul implores the people of Corinth to remember the greater wisdom. To draw their eyes away from their bickering and foolish reasoning, and rest instead upon the wisdom of God that has been revealed to them in Christ.
For the characters of The Office, resting upon such wisdom would certainly change workplace dynamics. Indeed, it would change everything about the show, from the way the characters perceived and made sense of their lives, to the way they loved and interacted with their peers.
This wisdom radically changed not only the Corinthians, but my own life as well. If I had considered God’s wisdom more closely, then perhaps my News Year’s Resolution would have been more successful!