For every negative word spoken to us, it takes many more positive words to compensate for the pain. Words that hurt do great damage and last a long time despite any accompanying healing words.
Maybe that’s why our reading from Proverbs begins with the words, “Doesn’t Wisdom cry out and Understanding shout?” (ceb). Over against the negative signals we receive and carry around with us, God turns up the volume so we can hear the truth. God shouts to get our attention.
We have all raised our voices to make a point or get across an important message. Others know we really mean it when we speak louder. When it comes to life-and-death crises and emergencies, we call out even louder. Pay attention! Watch out! Get this! Listen up!
We read yesterday that God has delighted in us from the beginning—smiling, playing, and dancing as we came into existence. Today, we discover that God’s delight is no small thing. It is something to be exclaimed. The writer of Proverbs uses words to paint a picture of God crying out to us, Whatever you do, don’t fail to hear that I delight in you! Don’t allow anyone or anything to make you think otherwise!
Since we have never met, I have no idea how often others speak negatively to or about you. All of us have received negative messages about us at one time or another. Some of us have heard we’re “no good” for so long and in so many ways that we now tell ourselves the lie. Today, God comes shouting, Don't you believe it! I delight in you!
Meditation: Cling to God’s positive words and dump the negative ones others have said to you.
In our society we often privilege intellect and expertise. However, in Proverbs we read that God values wisdom. Wisdom has been present since the beginning, and some early theologians understand this Wisdom to be none other than the Son of God. Part of wisdom is understanding our place in the universe. The psalmist marvels at the vast display of God’s power in the heavens yet also recognizes that humans are a manifestation of God’s glory. The New Testament readings invoke the Trinity as we approach Trinity Sunday. Paul says that we have peace with God through Christ, and we are given the Holy Spirit. In John, Jesus Christ has received everything from the Father, and the Spirit will guide his followers into all truth.
Read Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31. When have you heard God calling out to you?
Read Psalm 8. The author reminds us that our shortcomings are not because we are only human, but because we fall short of our humanity. How do you strive to be more human—a little lower than God?
Read Romans 5:1-5. How do you allow God’s peace to calm you when you feel your life swirling around you?
Read John 16:12-15. To which person of the Trinity do you feel “closest”? How can you develop your relationship with the other two persons?
Respond by posting a prayer.