Tag Archives: Lady Wisdom

“There is need of only one thing…” (21 July 3013, Ordinary Sunday 16C)

In this meditation, I take the part of ‘Gideon’, who was a small boy at the time of Jesus’ visit to Bethany. I am aware of the discussions about the authorship of Colossians; for what it’s worth, I am content that it comes from Paul through the pen of Timothy, which accounts for differences in wording and emphasis.

I’m also well aware the vast majority scholars believe John’s Gospel wasn’t written until around the end of the first century. What can I say? I plead poetic license.

 

Readings
Colossians 1.15–28
Luke 10.38–42

 

Hello, shalom, peace be with you. My name is Gideon. I was only a young boy when it happened, when I overheard the conversation Jesus had with Mary and Martha back in Bethany, my hometown.

I used to hide near Martha’s kitchen, just in the courtyard. Was she a great cook! Her scraps and offcuts were better than anything we got at home, so I’d just…you know…help her to get rid of them. Many’s the time I came home with a full belly, and so it didn’t matter that there was no food on our table.

Years later, Martha told me that she knew I went there, and she used to throw extra out for me. She was a really generous lady.

Anyway, one day I’m in my spot and there’s a huge commotion inside. I heard Martha clattering around and saying something about Jesus, the teacher and healer from Galilee everyone was talking about. I heard enough to realise he was coming to see Martha and Mary, her sister. I settled into my place. Martha will feed him well, I thought, there’ll be some dee-licious scraps tonight!

I must have dozed, because the next thing I hear, Jesus is already in the house. Martha’s in a flap because she’s still getting ready. I can’t hear Mary at all. I soon realised why I couldn’t hear Mary. Jesus was teaching the men there, and Mary was sitting with them. She always was the cheeky one, but she was really eager to learn too!

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The Way of Wisdom—Sunday 24, Year B (16 September 2012)

Readings
Proverbs 1.20-33
James 3.1-12
Mark 8.27-38

Wisdom is absolutely crucial in the Bible; in fact, Wisdom is part of the Bible’s very structure. There are three groupings of books that make up the Old Testament:

  1. the Law (the first five books, from Genesis to Deuteronomy);
  2. the Prophets (including what we think of as the historical books); and
  3. the Writings. The Writings contain the ‘Wisdom’ books, which include

Job;
Psalms;
Proverbs;
Ecclesiastes;
Song of Songs.

There are two further Wisdom books found in what people sometimes call ‘The Apocrypha’ or the ‘Deuterocanonical’ books: The Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach. We don’t have these books within the pages of the Bibles we use, but they are important books, and they are significantly quoted in the New Testament.

You know, there is a Wisdom Book in the New Testament too. James is a book of wisdom. The wisdom of James teaches us the character of God. But we need to listen closely to hear Wisdom’s words.

It’s not so easy to hear the voice of Wisdom. Many different and conflicting voices clamour for our attention every day of the week.

Advertisers tell us what to buy so that we can be successful. So we wonder why we’re not the centre of attention now we use the right deodorant.

Celebrities remind us that our lives are achingly dull compared to theirs, so we buy magazine after glossy magazine to feel that we’re sharing their happiness too.

Airbrushed photos of skinny models imply that any woman can be like them, and eating disorders are on the rise—including among young men.

Politicians tell us that the other side is rubbish, and they alone have the answers we need. So we vote for them, and are once more disillusioned by the political process.

But there’s another voice too, the voice of Wisdom. Continue reading

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