After a week considering all of Proverbs 1 each day — we gathered & opened in prayer that included,
Gracious God, help us develop a love and regard for Your Wisdom Literature. Grant that these days of search and exploring may result in a new understanding of what wisdom is all about and that new evidence of Your wisdom may be seen in our lives. Amen.
And we checked in honestly. Not all of us read Proverbs 1 daily — because, life. And there were a variety of experiences when we did read though. Experiences ranging from finding it (Proverbs) to be rather matter-of-fact, common sense & without surprise (our basic — yes, we can see/understand that) to noticing the rather jarring language that “wisdom” laughs at us after we ignore her — to wondering if those who are wise speak in riddles then how are we to hear wisdom literature (for ex. Proverbs) especially when we seem to understand it? And this lead to a conversation about God as known & revealed in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Scripture/Bible) and the New Testament — a beginning to a conversation regarding the character of God and also the question of is God = wisdom?, or perhaps said another way is one of God’s names wisdom? Don’t worry — we didn’t answer all of this in our check in — but the conversation did dance there.
And then we turned to more Scripture, more Proverbs, more wisdom. We spent time with Proverbs 3:5-8:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be a healing for your flesh and a refreshment for your body.
We noticed this invitation to humility, to not rely on our own insight nor to be wise in our own eyes. SUCH A TALL ORDER! And if that were not challenging enough — the invitation to trust in the LORD with all our heart? We had a moment of laughter confession — this is HARD — this idea of truly trusting. And someone named how that trust is hard and they (we probably could all say “WE”) often turn to our own patterns/practices when life comes at us — they mentioned wanting to put these verses on their refrigerator to be able to read about the healing & refreshment for our body! The conversation was rich and there was insight & an image that these Proverbs seem like a gift from an ageing father on his deathbed with his last breaths instructing a child. The imagery is beautiful, moving & allows Proverbs to breathe in our own lives in a more tender way.
And so what could possibly be homework out of this? We have heard & been discussing how this wisdom — these Proverbs — are for everyone, and to help us all live a better life — to be blessed by God — to flourish & succeed — & so the invitation was to use a Proverb to encourage someone, to speak a word that someone might need. This could be done in a conversation, or in a text message — or on social media — or even in a hand written note. And to help out the cause cards (blank ones!) were offered to any who might want to send someone a note that way.
Looking forward to hearing how the Word has gone out & what difference it made (in us) on Sunday @ 10AM!
In expectation to see Christ!
~ Rev. Sabrina Slater