Week of Proper 23, Year Two[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 16, 17 (morning) // 22 (evening)
Ecclesiasticus 1:1-10, 18-27
Our first reading this morning is drawn from the deep wells of the wisdom tradition. Jewish writers in this tradition sought to connect their own religious beliefs and practices with the wisdom they encountered in the world’s other philosophies and faiths. The passage contains sound advice for us as we live our own religious commitments in a wider world.
First, we are wise to remember all that we don’t know about this world. We may have a sense of what is good and what is true, but there’s so much we can’t be sure about: “The sand of the sea, the drops of rain, and the days of eternity–who can count them? The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth, the abyss, and wisdom–who can search them out?” We have neither the time nor the capacity to count and measure and investigate all things.
Second, we should find a way to value the wisdom that we find outside of our traditions, even as we root ourselves in the particulars of our faith. The author of this passage was able to situate his God and his ethics within a broader worldview. He could affirm, “All wisdom is from the Lord.” And he proclaimed that wisdom would come as a free-flowing gift to those who followed the wise and life-giving commandments: “If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord will lavish her upon you.”
Wisdom is indeed a lavish gift with its source in a God who exceeds the confines of our hearts and minds. Let us pray to encounter wisdom in new places today.
Lora Walsh blogs about the Daily Office readings at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.