Selected verses: Ps. 19; Proverbs 1:30,33; Isaiah 50:4; James 3:8b; Mark 8:29
I sense that all of today’s readings encompass, in one way or another, the notion of wisdom. With this in mind I would like to tease out a few ‘wisdom’ ideas from each of the set readings.
From the get–go, the Psalmist of 19 launches into a paean of praise about what he sees around him as the work of an all-wise creator.(vv1-6) I assign the adjective ‘all-wise’ to God as creator, for who without wisdom, could create the heavens, the skies, the sun in such a manner that no speech is even required to communicate God’s greatness?
But the Psalmist is yet more specific as he extols the wisdom of the Word of God. (vv7-11) A few examples of how God’s Word is variously described will suffice for our purposes. It can be seen as being ‘instructions’ which make perfect; as ‘decrees’ which make wise the simple; as ‘commandments’ which bring joy to the heart. Michael Cassidy in his book about Jesus’ prayer in John 17, “The Church Jesus prayed for” makes much of Joy as a mark not only of the individual believer but more importantly of the church He left behind.(John 17:13) Would that those of us affected by the HI virus would know a deep joy in our hearts no matter what…
The writer of Proverbs (traditionally ascribed to Solomon the wise) eschews any and all who ignore wisdom by ‘living their own way’ (1:11a).Happily Proverbs chapter 1 ends with a promise that ‘all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm’,(v33).
I love verses 4 in Isaiah ch 50…of course this passage foreshadows Jesus as the obedient Suffering Servant of God and therefore as the great comforter; yet in a sense, all of us who suffer, and who try to obey God in it are given words of wisdom so that we can comfort others who are weary (vs4). How true could this be in the context of the HIV/Aids pandemic?
James 3:1-12 poses one of the sternest warnings in all of Scripture concerning the danger and complete LACK of wisdom in wrong use of the tongue… ‘no one came tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison’(vs 8).There is little by way of commentary that can be added to this verse which applies to all of our living not least in the context of HIV/Aids. .
Perhaps, by way of conclusion some words from Mark’s gospel are helpful…to whom can we look in the light of so high a calling? A calling which embodies the worship of our all –wise Creator God; a deep knowledge of and obedience to God’s Word; a sharing of the comfort we have received through our own suffering and that utter determination to use our tongues for blessing not cursing. Surely the only answer to Jesus’ question: ‘ Who do you say I am?’ must find us looking to, and saying out loud if that helps ‘ You, Jesus are the Christ’.
References: Cassidy,M. The Church Jesus prayed for.Monarch Books:Oxford,UK and Grand Rapids,Michigan.USA.2012
To think about: Who do you say that I am? (Mark 8:29)
Written By: Rev Jessica McCarter. Assistant Priest St James Anglican Church, Ladybrand. Free State and trained Churches Channel of Hope Facilitator