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Saturday, August 08, 2009
Lectionary Scriptures: I Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14 or Proverbs 9:1-6, Psalm 111:1-10 or Psalm 34:9-14, Ephesians 5:15-20, John 6:51-58 The Gospel lesson is more on the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus as the bread of life, living bread and eternal life. A basic point that has come to us over the weeks: There are ideas, thoughts, values, feelings, attitudes, belief systems, spiritual experiences, etc., that we feed upon. Some build us—and humanity—up; others are probably destructive. The most valuable are those that have lasting significance, such that we might speak of them as eternal. When we feed upon and express them it is almost like living on another plane, where the things that happen last forever. The primary theme I see in this week’s scriptures is that of “wisdom.” Solomon is remembered not as a warrior king but as one who sought and demonstrated wisdom. His prayer for wisdom might offer guidance for all of us in our prayers. Solomon prays in humility that he is only a little child who does “not know how to go out or come in.” (I Kings 3:7) The responsibilities of his office weigh on him—all those people “so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted.” (vs. 8) So the prayer is for “an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil . . .” Would that every person with responsibility seek that kind of understanding. Of course some go overboard and make themselves the final authority on what is good and what is evil, but Solomon seems to come at it with more humility, ending his prayer with the question, “ . . . for who can govern this your great people?” Indeed, who can govern without humbly seeking understanding—wisdom? I believe it is important that we seek wisdom and understanding in all the human relationships in which we are involved. We need wisdom in our families, our friendships, our work life, our recreation, our volunteer work, our environmental concerns, the mission activities of the church—and on and on. Some days I look out at all the things that need to be addressed, and I throw up my hands and say I don’t have enough understanding. I hardly know where to begin. Almost always, almost every day, specifics happen that require response. Solomon had to decide between two women who both claimed the same child—but that’s another story. We are required to decide almost every day, about little things, and sometimes big things. (Sometimes the little things are bigger than we think.) Part of the prayer of each day might be for the kind of understanding/wisdom that will prepare us for whatever might come. The passage from Ephesians suggests that wisdom is a good way to make “the most of the time.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) What I find most fascinating is that wisdom appears to be somehow connected with music. The passage starts with an instruction to be wise, concluding that part of being wise is singing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts.” (vs. 19) Granted there have been some pretty dark compositions and popular songs, there is much music that is uplifting. It is difficult to think evil thoughts while singing or listening to such music. I find music to be healing, inspiring, even challenging on occasion. It is food for the soul that offers an eternal connection. Pastor Rick has reminded us that “wisdom” in parts of the biblical tradition, including the Proverbs, is female, a female expression of the divine, sometimes another way of talking about God’s Spirit. What if the third person of the Trinity were female? Tackling the Trinity right now, though, is too much. Nevertheless, note that being wise, in Ephesians 5:19, is to be filled with the Spirit. The verses from Proverbs talk about “Wisdom” as one who calls out to the simple and those without sense, to come to her and find the sustenance which will allow them to “lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” (Proverbs 9:4-6) Note also that Proverbs 9:5 connects with the bread and wine theme. Wisdom’s invitation is to “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.” Is Wisdom then one of those eternal foods offered to all who would partake? This will be my last submission to the Kairos Blog until another yet unseen occasion arises. Margie and I are off to Wisconsin, a wedding, some sightseeing, etc. I believe Rick will be offering his usual brilliant insights (full of wisdom?) starting in September. Thank you, Rick, and all readers, for allowing me to share some of what the lectionary—and being part of this congregation—has meant and means to me.


Emily said...

These are the benefit of wise diet
losing 15 to 20 lbs. each month
high motivation resulting from rapid weight loss
enjoying a nutritionally well-balanced diet (with no pre-packaged foods) that can be bought at the grocery store
the use of only fat and carbohydrates as an energy source, NOT muscle tissue, resulting in increased energy levels
total control over hunger
continual monitoring of medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. while attending our clinics
the use of vitamin and mineral injections only. No diet pills or appetite suppressants

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Kairos-Milwaukie UCC Blog

Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary by Rev. Rick Skidmore and Rev. Jim Ogden.

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