September 2, 2021

A Word about the Word

The sayings of the wise are like cattle prods…like firmly imbedded nails. [Ecclesiastes 12:11]

One last nod to our summer examination of the wisdom of Solomon in Ecclesiastes: Though “life under the sun” is often frustrating, the Bible’s words of wisdom are life-giving and faith producing. In our days of incessant information (often spurious conjecture) the call of wisdom is especially necessary. If you’re at a loss as to what to read next in your Bible, I would suggest pick from the selections of wisdom literature (e.g., Proverbs, Job, even James).  And join me for five minutes a day over the next several weeks as I ruminate on the Bible’s wisdom.

One last mention on the value of wisdom from Eric Wiener in Socrates Express (I love that title): “We think we want information and knowledge. We do not. We want wisdom. Information is a jumble of facts, knowledge a more organized jumble. Wisdom untangles the facts, makes sense of them, and, crucially, suggests how best to use them.”

Close to Home

The church cares…I was told that long ago, and it still may be the simplest, clearest description of church I can imagine. Trinity cares! In general and specific ways. Thank you! We are beginning a “Cancer Care” (support) group this October. If you or someone you know has experienced cancer (in their body or family) within the last year, this new group may provide the hope and care you really need. 

Speaking of caring—Cleveland is opening its doors to Afghan refugees. Worth considering…

My small group was discussing the universal need for fellowship—that sense of community with a common spirit and heart. Our staff have been talking about how this September ought to be a “fresh start” for the church: a time when true fellowship can be experienced again, in person. We have to return together with a deeper commitment to doing the biblical “one-another”s (e.g., love, encourage, forgive, submit, etc.). These serve as the basis for the kind of life-giving fellowship we all hunger for. 

Our New Vocabulary

New phrases in our day: 

  • “Breakthrough COVID” (This thing is just not going away!)
  • “Atheist chaplain” (I’m not making this up. Harvard University just appointed an avowed atheist as their Chief Chaplain.)
  • “No cap” (Someone said this the other day—I guess it means “no lie”; i.e., “this is true.”)
  • “Dope” (Huh? It was always either a derogatory term or slang for marijuana. I guess now it means “awesome” or “very nice,” as in, “Dope outfit.”)

Prayer

“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.”
[Teresa of Avila]

I’ll catch you on the other side.

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