Pastor’s Monthly Message

Message from Pastor Harvey

Perhaps it is because July is a slow month, theologically speaking (there are no major church holidays in July), or perhaps because I was simply curious: but I want to explore some teachings out of Proverbs in my newsletter. I confess, Proverbs is a book of the Bible I rarely consult or study.

But take for example Proverbs 1:7 The beginning of wisdom is fear of God, and understanding is good for all those who practice it, and piety unto God is the beginning of perception; the ungodly, however, will despise wisdom and discipline.

And Proverbs 1: 20 Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice. 21 At the busiest corner she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: 22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?

Indeed, the Book of Proverbs extolls the benefits and virtues of wisdom, as well as excoriating foolishness and folly. And when you think about it, who doesn’t want to be wise? Who wants to be a fool? (Here is a curious tangential aside: a wizard by definition is not a magical person but one who has an abundance of wisdom.) Who wouldn’t want to be a wizard.

But wisdom seems to be in short supply these days. Whether we are talking about theological issues or political issues, common sense responses seem to be overwhelmed by emotional and unreasoned responses. (My opinion is that every political issue is also a theological issue.) Now, I’m not suggesting that having wisdom in greater abundance would instantly cause everyone to agree.

What I am suggesting is that, in this time of turmoil and disagreement, Proverbs is not wrong to encourage us to seek wisdom; namely returning to the fear/reverence of the Lord. Where there are many voices and bad actors fanning the flames of fear and hatred, the fear/reverence of the Lord is needed more than ever.

Proverbs 10: 11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.  12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

Proverbs is consistent with the entirely of sacred Scripture in saying the fear and reverence of God is the beginning of wisdom. This reverence leads directly and inevitably to loving God and loving neighbor. Wisdom rejects and opposes hatred, fear, coercion, exploitation, divisions and oppression.

Proverbs 11:20 Crooked minds are an abomination to the LORD, but those of blameless ways are his delight.

Your Shepherd in Christ,
Pastor Harvey
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