“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.” (Proverbs 8:22-24)
I begin today with a snippet from the eighth chapter of the book of Proverbs – verses that are part of our Hebrew Bible reading for this coming Sunday.
Who is speaking in the passage – the first of God’s creative works, predating the creation of the heavens and the earth? It is Wisdom, also personified in this chapter as a woman who stands on the street corner, calling to anyone willing to give her their ear, inviting them to listen and to learn and to live!
Wisdom is seen as a cosmic force in this passage, something akin to Confucius’ concept of the ‘Dao’. It is both a way of understanding and a way of living. Moreover, this wisdom embodies something of the character of God.
This coming Sunday is Trinity Sunday in both the Eastern and Western arms of the church. It’s when we celebrate the church’s understanding of the nature of God, as being both one and three – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is an ancient teaching that requires a lot of wisdom just to get your head around it.
I’ve always appreciated Dorothy Sayers 1947 summary of the doctrine of the Trinity – “the Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, the whole ,incomprehensible.” Perhaps by the time we reach our Sunday service I’ll be ready to expand on the doctrine of the Trinity and defend it. For the moment, let it suffice for me to say that the church has always understood God to be, in essence, community, and I believe that contains a deep insight.
Wisdom, truth, community – we need all three, but it’s not always obvious where to find them. Despite the optimism of Proverbs 8, it’s the darker realism of Job 28 that resonates with me – “where is wisdom to be found?” (Job 28:12) Job says he searches the whole world for wisdom and can’t find it anywhere!
Perhaps Paul gives us an answer in this week’s Epistle reading from Romans 5: “we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3-5).
I think Paul would say that suffering gives us wisdom. The author of Proverbs 8 would probably respond that too much suffering indicates not enough wisdom. Perhaps both can be true, and both can be false. Where is wisdom to be found?
Our Sunday Eucharist
I’m afraid last Sunday was a solo performance from me (so to speak). I was wondering why dear Dave Baldwin hadn’t joined me. Then I received a text message from him, telling me that I hadn’t sent him the link! I emailed it to him immediately, and … 45 minutes later it arrived in his inbox!
The wonders of modern technology! ☹
Who will be with me this Sunday? I’m not sure at this stage but I can assure you that we will be streaming live at midday through:
With the election finished and Joy recovering from her cancer, I’ve been praying for direction as to where I should now be directing my energies. I feel convinced that it’s time to focus on building community.
I have a vision of people from different faith traditions coming together – Christians and Muslims and Jews and others – working alongside one another to see God’s will done on earth as it is in Heaven.
For me this involves things like bringing Julian Assange home. It means ending the sanctions on Syria. It means fighting for our freedoms – freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom of religion and freedom of speech. For you it might mean other things. That’s OK. Under God, we have different gifts, different visions, and different roles to play. Even so, we only move forward together.
I want to get serious about building our online community so that we can work together more effectively and support each other in our various roles. I think we need a new online platform. I think we may need a lot of things. One thing I know I need is help from three other people who share my vision.
Yes, I need three people to help me build and grow our online community. Are you interesting in being one of those three? If so, let me know ASAP. Just hit reply here and say “I’m in” (or something similar). I’ll call you. We’ll talk. We’ll meet, and we’ll get to work.
Thanks for your support
And thank you once again for the financial support you give me through Patreon. It’s what keeps the wheels turning. I am deeply grateful, and I hope I can give you something in return:
- Middleweight Division ($10/month) where you get access to the member site, along with the videos and other resources.
- Heavyweight Division ($100/month) which includes individual coaching, along with software subscriptions to both Buzzious and Streamout, allowing you both to publish an unlimited number of quality blogs and to livestream.
- Super-Heavyweight division ($400/month) includes all of the above plus me training with you one-on-one – at The Fight Lab and at Binacrombi Bush Camp
And speaking of Binacrombi, I’m keen to start regular Warrior Weekends again. How does the first weekend of July sound? I can promise you a full-on weekend in the bush where we train like Trojans and pray like monks! If that sounds enticing, pencil the first weekend of July into your calendar and let me know. 😊
May the Lord bless and strengthen you for the work to which you have been called.
Your brother in the Good Fight,
P.S. A final piece of good news. We’ve just had Joy’s first meeting at the hospital since her surgery. They believe the cancer is all gone! Thanks be to God 🙂