The Eve of the New Year is upon us and so I thought it a good moment to lift up one of this week’s lectionary readings from the Wisdom tradition. Sirach (sometimes called the Wisdom of Ben Sira or Ecclesiasticus) is a collection of sayings, similar to Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, full of advice for sound living.
And what does Wisdom have to say? In the opening section of Ecclesiasticus Wisdom reminds us that she has been here from the beginning and that God, the creator, pours her out for all who love God (1:9-10). I could use some warm Wisdom poured over my head, dripping down and covering me and all my questions.
What questions linger for you at this close of 2009? What Wisdom do you seek as you travel into a new year?
I sense that we are all blessed to be part of this Church in the Cliff Community, for surely this church is a vessel for wisdom. The more stories I learn about City Church and her unlikely founding (as an art church funded by foreword-looking Baptists, led by a woman, and situated in Oak Lawn!), the more relationships I experience, and the more fruit I observe in people’s lives — the more beautiful a dance partner this church becomes.
Dance may be a good analogy for Wisdom. Unlike knowledge– which requires you to take first step, to be certain, to push forward– wisdom is more about being led. Dancing with Wisdom requires a willingness to go backwards when you can’t even see who is behind you and to learn the moves as you go- knowing you will never be left alone on the floor.
So where does this Wisdom touch down in regular life? You tell me… I know I need Wisdom more than knowledge to raise my kids. To figure out how to respond to a friend who is deeply hurting. To figure out how to renew myself even as I work and contribute in different roles and spheres.
These are fun things to ponder as we approach New Years Eve, the fulcrum of the Twelve Nights. I encourage you to bring your questions related to the end of one year and beginning of another into the context of Christmastide. Play Christmas music. Light a fire. Go be with friends for time of rest and re-creation. Or sit quietly and recollect each month from the past year; then think ahead and ask how you would like each one in the new year to be different – or perhaps the same?
Then take the hand of Ms. Wisdom and let her lead you lightly across the threshold, to a new dance floor buffed and ready for 2010.
Joy and All Good Things
PS No Wed night meal tonight but join us for a joyful service on Sunday and Epiphany party next Wednesday, Jan 6th at Wes, Teri, and Kristin’s place, 1406 Eastus, 6pm.