Monday, 28 December 2015


Wisdom is not just a quality worth acquiring in the Bible, Wisdom is an essential property of God.
Wisdom is part of the divine nature, so growing in wisdom is getting closer and closer to God.
The Old Testament has a whole category of writings called wisdom literature, such as Proverbs and Ecclesiastes or Job.
Indeed in John’s prologue that we heard over the Christmas period, “In the beginning was the word
Word in Greek is the word “Logos” and can also mean wisdom. So the word made flesh can also read, “wisdom” made flesh and especially in the Christian Orthodox world wisdom and Jesus are entwined.
The greatest church in all of Christendom for centuries before the Muslim invasion was the Haghia Sofia in present day Istanbul – I expect many of you have been there – was dedicated to Christ and it was called the Haghia Sofia which means literally the “Holy Wisdom”.
Christians associated Christ with wisdom through Biblical warrant and I’d like to read an extract now from proverbs 8: 22-31 and see where this correlation comes from, and especially how it chimes with John’s prologue;
"The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
   the first of his acts of long ago.
Ages ago I was set up,
   at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
   when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped,
   before the hills, I was brought forth—
when he had not yet made earth and fields,
   or the world’s first bits of soil.
When he established the heavens, I was there,
   when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above,
   when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit,
   so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
   then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
   rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world
   and delighting in the human race."
Once we have immersed ourselves in the concept of wisdom being of God himself, a lot of the New Testament begins to shine a little brighter.
When Jesus sat at the feet of the religious teachers when he was left behind in the Temple He was already displaying extraordinary wisdom and insight amidst the cut and thrust of theological debate with his elders and the last verse (52) says;
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour.”
How he grew in wisdom is not spelled out but we know that Jesus knew the scriptures inside out. Even at age twelve he was debating with scholars the spiritual meaning of them. And even at that early age he was aware of the fact that Almighty God was His Father.
Jesus is our exemplar, and we are to follow him so how he grew in wisdom is the same path that we must follow.
We grow into Christ and therefore grow in Wisdom when we realise that we too are a child of God the Father and when we immerse ourselves in, and struggle with, scripture in the power of the Spirit and pray.
This comes out strongly in Paul’s letter to the Colossians.
We, who have recognised ourselves as children of God, are to build a church separate from the ways of the world – which is the meaning of the word “Holy” in verse 12.
And then Paul gives us a list of virtues that should be prevalent amongst the believers in this new community. He mentions humility third but I think “humility” is probably a prerequisite to the others and so, in fact is a very important first base.   
Thinking of ourselves as no better than anyone else is quite difficult for us because we have such large egos. Whenever we are tempted to think like that it is good to remember this;
Jesus was content to die for that person.
And In humility we also mustn’t think that we are the finished article. If we are not continually learning and growing into Christ we are stagnating
Top of the moral pyramid is Love of course. But again remember when we talk about Christian love we mustn’t succumb to the modern world’s view of love as slushy and sentimental.
Love in Christianity is about sacrifice and suffering. We must not forget that our ultimate symbol of Love is not hearts and flowers; it is a man who after being battered , flogged and humiliated was nailed to a cross to die by drowning in his own blood. That is Love - Nothing sentimental there.
Paul also says “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish each other in all wisdom.
In other words, study the word of God and pray to Him often, teach and admonish each other.
Some people have the impression that a church should just accept everyone as they are and just leave them like that. Not so – that is only half right.
We accept anyone but a condition of being a part of a Holy Community is that they are taught and admonished so they can see the error of their ways and repent.
The New Testament church was No cosy, wishy washy, anything for an easy life, non confrontational, ever so polite Anglicanism here.
Also our response in gratitude to what has been done results naturally in spirited worship. This is our calling as Christians.
As you have a new vicar I expect there are many people wondering what will be happening in the church.
Well I don’t know exactly but the Holy Spirit does and we will be guided by Him.

Who knows where the Holy Spirit will take us, but be assured that in accordance with Paul we will do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment