Lectionary Commentary

21 06 2011

According to the Lutheran Lectionary Project today’s first reading is taken from Proverbs 24. I would like to comment just a bit, if I may, on verses 13 & 14 from that chapter.

“13My son, eat honey, for it is good,
and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
if you find it, there will be a future,
and your hope will not be cut off.”

I think that we would all like to think that we are wise, at least to some extent. Commonly today one might speak of street smarts as a way of conveying wisdom as both can be argued to relate to the application of knowledge into the practice of daily life.

Sometime ago I made a comment while leading a youth group that it sure would be simpler to achieve maturity if there were some kind of “instant maturity” type product that could help one out. As rather clever young lady in attendance was evidently inspired enough to create a spray bottle of “instant maturity” complete with appropriate labeling complete with ingredients.

Now this spray bottle really only contains water, but I believe that in some ways is symbolic of a struggle in our culture. We desire the instant and fight the demands of slow development. People looking into higher education often are just a concerned with the time taken to achieve a degree as they are with the knowledge/skills they will be learning.

My son is a great case in point. At three years old, I cannot expect him to understand patience all that well, but when he gets frustrated as he learns a new skill, he quickly reaches a point of anger and exhibits a desire to quit and have me bail him out.

In today’s proverb, wisdom, like maturity or patience, is something that develops over time. I love the way wisdom is connected with the eating of sweet honey. In that image we see a connection between what we consume and who we become.

It takes time for the food that we eat to become a fully formed part of who we are physically. Likewise consuming the wisdom of God’s Word provides sustenance to our souls, fueling and forming us in Christ. In so forming us in Christ indeed our “hope will not be cut off.”

We have a future, formed in Christ, when we consume His Word and live lives sustained by the wisdom and comes to us only through the Holy Spirit.

Instant maturity might be nice in theory, but in practice nothing beats the slow formation of character that God’s wisdom provides.

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