The final verse of today’s psalm invokes Wisdom: “Let those who are wise give heed to these things.” This is a nod to the biblical Wisdom tradition that focuses on how to live a life centered upon God. In Proverbs, Wisdom is personified as a brilliant woman; and as humans we are called to listen for her, to enter into her house and seek understanding (see Proverbs 9:1-12). In fact, as people of God our primary calling is to follow God’s lead and commands, becoming wise in the process.
Jesus says that doing the will of his Father is his primary mission on earth, and, as such, he places himself at the center of the Wisdom tradition (see John 6:38). As Christ followers, we are to embrace this tradition of discernment which calls us also to seek God’s will.
Although there are many techniques of discernment prayer, they all ask us to pay attention to what is “life-giving” and what is “death-dealing” in our experience. Since God is the giver of life, becoming more aware of the life-giving Spirit in our midst will enable us to move in accordance with that Spirit and find God in our day-to-day activity. This experience of God’s constant companionship leaves us satisfied. God’s presence is enough in every situation.
In the Christian spiritual tradition, discernment is not simply a tool for decision-making; it is, rather, a way of life, the way of Wisdom. That is the reason the original name for the Jesus movement was the “Way.” These early communities and gatherings of disciples saw themselves as followers of the way of Jesus, followers of God’s will.
Let us seek wisdom, so we will know God’s sufficiency.
Loving God, grant us wisdom. Help us to orient our lives around you so that we may know your will and meet you wherever our life’s path takes us. Amen.
Hosea relates a further message from God. Israel has repeatedly ignored God’s teachings, even though God continues to reach out with love and kindness. A just response would be wrath, but God will respond with mercy to restore the people. The psalmist echoes this teaching about God’s enduring love. Although some have gone through periods of distress, when they call out to God, the Lord responds with steadfast love. We then explore guidance for the life of a Christian. In Colossians we read that we should focus on heavenly realities, not the physical world. Rather than pursuing our own pleasure, we should put on a new self and behave more like God desires. The parable that Jesus tells reinforces this point. We should focus on storing up heavenly treasures, not earthly ones.
Read Hosea 11:1-11. How have you suffered the consequences of turning away from God? How has God welcomed you back?
Read Psalm 107:1-9, 43. What stories of God’s goodness does your family tell to the next generations?
Read Colossians 3:1-11. How has Christ renewed you? How do you see Christ in others?
Read Luke 12:13-21. How has greed shown up in your life? How do you combat greed in all its forms to live out of a mentality of abundance?
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.”
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