Sunday, July 17 – “Part 3: Wisdom”
View this recorded version of Sunday Worship from July 17, 2022.
Bible verses: 1 Kings 3: 3-15 (Solomon asks for wisdom.)
Reflection: “Jesus Followers–Part 3: Wisdom”
Excerpts from the sermon by Rev. Dr. Fred Grewe:
“We’re going to marinate reconciliation with compassion and this morning I would like to season this with the concept of wisdom.
… Solomon was replacing a legend. His father David was the greatest king in the history of Israel.
… But Solomon had a brilliant idea. He recognized that David’s great source of power, and and strength and wisdom and grace came from David’s relationship with God.
… Solomon prayed and said, ‘God, I need help. If I’m gonna govern your people.’ And so God said well, what would you like? Now can you imagine being in your twenties and God says to you–ask me whatever you want and I’ll give it to you. What a terrifying prospect that would be for the rest of humanity to have that kind of cache with the divine Holy One.
Give me whatever I want, and Solomon asked for wisdom. Give me an understanding heart, that I might steer and serve, and guide, and protect with justice and compassion, your people.
Solomon is not asking here for head knowledge. The kind of wisdom that Solomon is asking for is heart knowledge infused with compassion; that’s the kind of wisdom we’re talking about here.
… As I think about the wise people that I respect in my own life, I try to think well, what is it about them that makes them wise?
There’s four things I would suggest for your consideration this morning, and so here’s my criteria of what helps or or what I admire in a wise person: they seem to be able to make friends with solitude; they live lives in service of others; they have an ability to see through the complexity of a situation; and they’re humble.
… So the question, I think the more important question, is ‘How do we become wise?’ I mean, all right. Whether you agree with my criteria or you want to add some things of your own, the big question is, how do we become wise?
… The Greek poet Aeschylus is suggesting that the only way wisdom comes to us is through our suffering. Now you may disagree with me, but I think he’s onto something. I think it’s when we go through suffering, and survive that, and can reflect back on it–that wisdom comes to us… it can awaken us to real life.
So how does suffering do this work, if it If it does this? I suggest it does this by shattering the illusions that you and I have either inherited or created that make us think we’re something that we’re not, that we’re better than we are, that we’re smarter than we are, that we’re kinder than we are, that we’re the center of the universe. It shatters all that, and it helps us to live in reality and to live wisely.
… So, may you not only see and know some wisdom, may you grow in wisdom this day.”