September 01, 2009

Looking Ahead to September 6, 2009 -- 14th Sunday After Pentecost

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
  • Psalm 125 (VU p.849)
  • From the Letters of the Early Church: 1 Corinthians 1:17-28
  • From the Gospel: Mark 9:30-37
The Hymns this week are:
  • 371 Open My Eyes That I May See
  • 624 Give to us Laughter
  • 686 God of Grace and God of Glory (tune 651 verses 1, 2, 4)
  • 427 To Show by Touch and Word
The Sermon title is You Call This Wisdom??

Early Thoughts: What does it mean to be wise? What place of honour do we have for the wise among us? Is wisdom really just common sense?

As he ascends to the throne of his father Solomon is given a chance to ask for whatever he wants. Instead of wealth or power Solomon asks for wisdom. And so is born the legend of Solomon as a man of great wisdom (the Book of Proverbs is often seen as a collection of his wise sayings -- they aren't all his by any means, they weren't even compiled during his life but that is another issue). But what is wisdom?

Wisdom, Paul suggests, can also be foolishness. It all depends on one's point of view. The wisdom of God is foolishness to the rest of the world. A prime example is in the words of Jesus.
"Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all. Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcome
To be first you must be last? That doesn't sound like wisdom! What is wisdom anyway?

Some people define wisdom as being, in part, common sense. So-called "folk wisdom" would fall into this category (as would many of the passages in Proverbs). Some see wisdom as something that comes with age and experience (although we have all known people who were wise "beyond their years" and older people who were foolish). Certainly being wise is different from being smart (how many honour students have you met who were seemingly devoid of common sense). Wisdom is not knowledge. For people of faith the more important question to ask is: "what is Godly wisdom and how is it different from the wisdom of the world?". What do we do when common sense leads us off of The Way?

Join us on Sunday as we ask what wisdom is and try to understand why Godly wisdom is really wise when it sometimes sounds so foolish.

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