A Missing Link

Last summer, leaders from Central District Conference (CDC) had a retreat to determine the conference theme for the next two years.  We landed on Wisdom.  That’s Wisdom with a capital W, as in the name given the feminine character in Proverbs 8 who raises her voice “at the topmost heights, by the wayside, at the crossroads, near the gates at the city entrance” (vv. 2-3).  In that same chapter, Wisdom speaks in the first person: “The Lord created me at the beginning of their work, the first of their acts of long ago” v. 22.  Throughout creation’s unfolding Wisdom has been “rejoicing in God’s inhabited world and delighting in the human race” v. 31.  The official CDC theme is “Listen! Wisdom is Calling.”   

I’ve been thinking about Wisdom recently.  Partly because I’m helping create a four week worship series on the theme for CDC congregations.  Partly because, as we at CMC review the Old and New Testaments last week and this Sunday, Wisdom serves as a missing link between the two.  Wisdom literature flourished during that time between the Testaments, and both Matthew (chapter 11) and John (chapter 1) portray Jesus as the embodiment of Wisdom. 

I’m also interested in Wisdom as a re-centering point of religious faith.  Wisdom is present across religious traditions, beyond religious spheres, and in the natural world.  Wisdom isn’t just a missing link between the Testaments, it’s an ignored link across human experience.  Perhaps we can even re-imagine evolution as driven by the survival of the wisest.  Social insects like ants and bees, trees and other plants forming mutually beneficial networks of relationships, pass on an inheritance of Wisdom that has much to teach us. 

Wisdom is something to search for, and it’s something searching for us.  Wisdom was around long before we were.  Wisdom is calling “at the crossroads.”  What if we would dare listen to her?