Drawing on the ancient practice of setting aside Lent as a period of study and preparation for living as a Christian disciple, we are pleased to present weekly teachings from Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent. Learn more at episcopalchurch.org/life-transformed.
READ Proverbs 8:1-8; 19-21; 9:4b-6
Lent has always been the traditional time of study and growth for those who seek to follow Jesus’ way and learn his life and teachings. As Christians, we are invited to continue to grow in our knowledge and love of God. Remember, Episcopal tradition holds that we never really “arrive” in our journey with God.
This passage from the Book of Proverbs echoes the blessing we pray over every newly baptized Christian that the person might have an “inquiring and discerning heart” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 308). In this passage, wisdom is personified as a woman crying out for people at the crossroads of the city to hear the gift of life she offers. In the Bible, wisdom is an active and powerful force present even at the beginning of the world. She does not want anyone to be left without knowledge of God and refuses to deny God’s love to anyone who is willing to learn. However, gaining wisdom is not simply studying a book or memorizing a few facts. Wisdom goes beyond mere knowledge into action. We cannot be considered wise if we do not act in accordance with what we have learned. Wisdom demands integrity. Wisdom calls us to “lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight” (Proverbs 9:6).
The baptismal blessing over the water notes that “the Holy Spirit moved over the waters at creation” (Genesis 1:2). Wisdom is often equated with the Holy Spirit herself. In other words, every part of this earth is created with some element of the powerful gift of wisdom. One method for us to practice learning is to sit at the feet of Jesus, our great teacher in wisdom, and learn his way through regular meditation on the Scriptures. Through him, we can access the wisdom that fills all of creation and already lives in each one of us.
REFLECT: When we are dedicated to learning more about God’s wisdom through relationship with Jesus and with others, we open ourselves up to God’s holy word made manifest in all with whom we come in contact. How often do you spend time reading the Bible? What wisdom have you gleaned from its pages?