June 17, 2020
My child, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.
For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.
We don’t often spend a lot of time with the Book of Proverbs. There’s no plot, no real stories, no narrative arc. Just one piece of advice after another. There’s not even much mention of God – just Wisdom, and lots of it. But there’s a reason Proverbs is in the Bible; it’s full of good sense. Today’s reading is just one example. It’s a warning to us all. You can see the warning when you ask yourself, why is this here?
These words warn us that it’s all too easy in our world to stop listening to God’s words. It’s all too easy to lose sight of our ultimate purpose, to step away from the path for whatever reason. So the reading for today tells us that, in order to avoid losing our way, we should be intentional about reminding ourselves of the way. Be attentive to God’s words, it says. In other words, read the Bible on a regular basis. Make those words as familiar as a favorite song, so that when we are faced with choices – as we inevitably will be – the guiding words of our Christian faith come to mind.
We believe that we have been created by God in order to help build communities of love, justice and mercy. In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul writes: “knowledge puffs us, but love builds up.” Again, in Colossians 2, he writes: “I want their (believers) hearts to be encouraged and united in love.” I John 4 tells us “Beloved, let us love on another, because love is from God. . . whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Further on, John writes: “God is love and those who abide in love, abide in God, and God abides in them.” Jesus himself, in the Sermon on the Mount, said: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.” As for justice, in Luke 3, Jesus said: “whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise…”
Love is our foundation, justice and mercy are the two forms of our activities. And daily, steady, consistent reading of our Bible helps ground us in the words which form our faith.
Blessings, Pastor Virginia