Proverbs (starting again…)

Yesterday (yes that’s right, I am writing this on Monday! hehe! — so yesterday!) we gathered round the table. It was a bit chilly outside but fortunately we started warming up inside together! We opened in prayer before being reminded of our homework assignment(s) from the week prior:

  • to define/describe (yes again) what Sabbath is (for us)
  • to DAILY be reading Proverbs …and then sharing what the Holy Spirit is highlighting

The reminder was useful — and in fashion unlike us — there was a beginning of (mildly awkward) silence…no worries, and especially after the question of do folks answer one or both questions (yes) the sharing began.

While of note, we did not speak much to Sabbath definitions (though I do think we continue thinking about it & letting God speak to us even — or perhaps especially — in those spaces where we don’t have/know “all” the answers) but there was much to say about Proverbs. After an opening noting how wisdom is personified as a woman (shared with a bit of a grin) there was desire to jump forward to other chapters where the feminine is personified differently — but we held back, seeking to hold our engagement to where we had already read — chapters 1-5 (or even 6). A quick mention named how fools don’t follow wisdom; there was conversation on what wisdom is (is it the same as knowledge — most said, no) — holding God’s wisdom also as something different than humanity’s knowledge; there was some holding too of how to hear God’s promises — perhaps in general? — because it doesn’t seem that at least with health that our faithfulness guarantees it… Too there was some felt “poking” from the Holy Spirit in wondering if some of the descriptions (not the good ones) include us (likely), and simultaneously encouragement in thinking that perhaps we’re not “that” bad with some of the things God hates (see Proverbs 6:16-19).

And where much of our conversation arched was in how wisdom cries (or calls) out — in the street — in the shared public space (see Proverbs 1:20-33). This conversation was rich. Questions of is wisdom crying out? If (she) is — can we hear her; can we hear her above or piercing through the noise that surrounds us; are we even trying to hear? While there was mention of modern-day prophets & how, not dissimilar to the prophets of old, they are not typically well received (even by those of faith) — we did not even engage the idea of false prophets — and especially this realizing that it is not only wisdom who cries aloud in the street (listen carefully as we continue).

So how do we hear? How to be those who are open to learning, open to reproof, open to saying “sorry” after we’ve gotten it wrong? Open to turning from wickedness when God shows us a better — a more loving & God-honoring way? While there is much I (and ahem…honestly, “we” don’t know — because, well GOD) one way we turn our ears to hearing wisdom — from knowing the voice of our Shepherd — is in taking ourselves (again & again & again) to the Word of God that has been gifted to us — this is what we are doing collectively of course with this October (and prayerfully all the time, but also all Octobers while we get to journey together) — so let us continue this practice, this rhythm & this “home/life-work assignment”

  • daily be reading 1 chapter of Proverbs a day. If you forget where you are — check the date — the number will be the same. So this week we’ll be on Proverbs 7 and reading through 12 and then spending some time with chapter 13 read together as we gather next. Be encouraged as you read y’all & be listening to where God might be CHALLENGING you & also to where God might be ENCOURAGING you — let us all be open to the surprises that can come as we do this very thing!

In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater