Pondering for Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 28: Year 2

AM Psalms 101 and 109; PM Psalm 119:121to144;
Malachi 1:1,6 to14James 3:13to4:12Luke 17:11to19

“For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.” (James 3: 16 and 17)

Envy, or in its most sinister form, jealousy, always brings about bad relations among people.  If we are different in any outward way, it is only magnified in a negative way by envy or jealousy.  It will occur among people of the same ethnicity as well.  But when there are differences of any kind, the differences take on, as James says, disorder and wickedness of every kind.

But James assures us that in the end, or as we like to say today, “at the end of the day,” It will all be better if we prayerfully regain our moral composure. But this only happens if we learn from wisdom.  He teaches us that wisdom is pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 

Although James confronts Paul in the faith versus works arena, he sounds like Paul’s 1st Corinthians letter when he defines wisdom as Paul defines love: that is, pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield and so forth.  Paul says of love that “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.   Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” (1st Corinthians 13: 4 to 8)

Maybe there is a strong correlation between love and wisdom.  Perhaps the path to wisdom is love, or the other way, the path to love is wisdom.  What do you think?

Today we remember Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680

“Hilda’s career falls into two equal parts,” says the Venerable Bede, “for she spent thirty-three years nobly in secular habit, while she dedicated an equal number of years still more nobly to the Lord, in the monastic life.” Hilda, born in 614, was the grandniece of King Edwin. She was instructed by Paulinus (one of the companions of Augustine of Canterbury) in the doctrines of Christianity in preparation for her baptism at the age of thirteen.” Hilda was sought out by kings and other public men for advice and counsel. Those living under her rule devoted so much time to the study of Scripture and to works of righteousness that many were found qualified for ordination.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for November 18)

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John

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