William C. Bills
June 12, 2019
In the Hebrew Scriptures, Wisdom is about the human search for truth and a good life. In ancient near-eastern culture, to call someone wise was to pay that person a high compliment. The wise person is one who speaks with care, controls their emotions, saves money, seeks good and refrains from evil.
In the Book of Proverbs, Wisdom is personified as an attractive woman (Sophia). She was begotten by God, was present at creation and is still present in creation. Wisdom is happy and playful. She takes great delight in all that is good in the world. She urges us to take delight in the world; to enjoy ourselves and be playful. Wisdom is serious but suggest that people not be too serious all the time. Rather, we should be able to have some fun and enjoy life.
Wisdom constantly sees connections between people, the created order and God. She is always calling us to notice new opportunities for partnership with God in daily living.
Wisdom may be gained by experience. Living through trials, grief, and disappointment can make one wise. Just living, and paying attention while doing so, can make one wise. Of course, some people seem to just be naturally wise, possessing insight and character as a part of who they are.
Wisdom, born of experience, is available to all. Trying new and different things can be challenging. Trying new things gives us insight into ourselves, others, and the world. I try to take advantage of opportunities to visit Hindu and Buddhist temples, synagogues, mosques, and churches of different Christian traditions. The experience helps me to better understand other people and their faith and God. The experience also helps me to appreciate better my own Methodist faith tradition.
We all have the opportunity to experience something new and different this summer as we alternate each Sunday between our traditional worship service and our new REACH service. I hope that you will take the opportunity to experience the REACH service, even if that really isn’t your preferred style for worship and music. You will be better for the experience. It may help you appreciate your traditional service more, too. It may help you to understand and appreciate the worship needs of other people. If you prefer the REACH service, everything you just read can also be applied to you by attending the traditional service, too.
This Sunday the sermon will be about Wisdom. The song set is going to be really good! In addition to a few contemporary worship songs, the REACH band will also lead us in How Great Thou Art and It Is Well with My Soul. You will also get to sing What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. The offertory will be a piano and saxophone improvisation. Even if REACH isn’t your thing, it will be a great worship experience! I hope you will check it out. You will be wiser for having done it afterward!