The campground near our Wisconsin cabin is deserted in the winter, but it begins to populate in mid-May. By Memorial Day weekend, people camp by the cool, tannin-colored water. They unfold their tables and chairs, light campfires, and launch canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, fishing boats, jet skis, and pontoon boats, filling the lake with activity. Children run from the beach into the water, splashing and laughing. On the nearby pier, they squeal in delight when they hook a small panfish.
Other seasonal migrants also appear. During the winter, a kiosk with empty hooks stands like a still sentinel at the access point to the lake. One day in early spring Lake Association volunteers fill it with free-to-use life jackets for boaters and swimmers to borrow and return. Through the kiosk, the local Lake Association communicates understanding, takes a stand, and cries to the campers this wisdom: “Flotation devices save lives.” Throughout the summer, the kiosk interacts with the boaters: Some days it is filled with life jackets, some days it is sparse; occasionally it is empty.
In today’s passage, Divine Wisdom is personified as a woman who stands at the city gate, actively seeking presence in our lives. She helps human wisdom mature. Divine Wisdom, like the life jacket kiosk, appears like grace. We do not earn grace; rather, Divine Wisdom and God’s prevenient grace are present in our lives before we appear, even when we do not pay attention. God seeks us out; God invites us into relationship. Campers can ignore the life jackets, and we do not have to acknowledge Wisdom’s presence. And yet, neither will go away. Rather, Wisdom calls to us, wanting to connect with us. Wisdom accompanies us. Wisdom is in our midst, calling us to herself.
Let us open ourselves to the ways Divine Wisdom is seeking a presence in our lives. In the name of the One who is Object, Vision, and Intention we pray. Amen.
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’s Gospel, we read that 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.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.