Saturday 19 December 2020

Bible Book:

The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. (v. 22)

Proverbs 8:22-31 Saturday 19 December 2020

Psalm 48


The reading today sounds like a bit of a riddle.  It is Wisdom who is speaking. The utterance is imagined or inspired. Long before our Bible had been brought together in the collection of books we have today, long before the Hebrew faith had matured in the Judaism in which Christianity grew, people were trying to make sense of the world. Seasons changed. When it rained, crops grew. If there was drought, famine followed. If you dropped a stone, it fell to the ground. Some things were predictable and had a pattern. Things happened and something made them happen – cause and effect.

The reasons for other things were not so clear, the devastation of an earthquake or the strike of lightning, for example. People tried to make sense of all of this. What was behind the things that could not easily be explained? An idea of God began to form. Stories of a believing people were told. Undergirding this was a sense of everything coming from God with thought and purpose. In the Hebrew scriptures the sense of purpose, something threaded though all creation, was sometimes known as Wisdom.

In the Gospel according to John we seem to have an echo of this, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being" (John 1: 1-3). These verses speak of logos, which  is Greek for ‘Word’, meaning an essence underlying and threaded through the cosmos. For Christians the Word becoming human in Christ has always suggested to me a point of entry to our faith more consonant with our contemporary world than some other parts of the Bible. That is not to discount the Christmas narratives of Matthew and Luke, just that different language speaks to different people.

The Word, the Wisdom, the essence of the cosmos being incarnate, without knowing exactly how this happens, resonates with me.


To Ponder:

  • What speaks best of incarnation to you in the 21st century?
  • Which Christmas gospel resonates most clearly with us today?


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