Each and every day has meaning. Even as we wait for this pandemic to be over, there are still so many things to consider. So many ways God is nudging us, prodding us, calling us, now.
What are we learning as we live in these days? How is it changing our lives? For a majority of us, this pandemic has at least caused us to physically distance, wear face masks, and limit exposure to other people in closed in spaces. But what more have we learned?
The book of Proverbs' purpose is to provide understanding, insight, and instruction in skills for living as God would desire for us. Wisdom is depicted as a woman, and she is standing on a street corner. Can you see her standing in the broad open spaces by the city gate of her time? It is a wide plaza beyond the city gate, where people assemble for business dealings and judicial proceedings. Somewhat like a busy farmer’s market. She is speaking to all who listen. There are many who will not listen. They are called the simpletons, scoffers, and fools. Yet she continues speaking. If they do not listen, that is their problem. Her words have fallen on deaf ears. She let them know that they will reap what they sow from the decisions they make.
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus sends his disciples out into town after town to share the good news about the Kingdom of God. He does not send them out blindly. Jesus instructs them where to go and where not to go. He tells them what to take and what not to take with them. He prepares them by making them aware that some people will welcome them. In that case, they can stay in those homes, and let their peace be upon them. However, others will not welcome them nor listen to what they have to say. So they are to shake off the dust from their feet as they leave that house or town. Jesus concludes, “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Mt 10:16).
The wisdom of God sounds foolish to the world, for the wisdom of God is about living for God and all of God’s creation. Are we becoming any wiser through this pandemic? Now that we know we cannot control a virus, have we gained any insight into the groaning of creation and what the inhabitants of the world are doing to the planet? Are we more conscious of the salt we are rubbing in the wounded earth? Are we any more compassionate towards our neighbors who are struggling to survive and find shelter? What can we learn from countries like Nigeria and other African regions who are faring so much better than we are in dealing with the virus?
What kind of poster is Woman Wisdom holding? Does it say, “Don’t Pollute the Water” or “Black Lives Matter” or “Wear a Mask” or “Don’t Leave me Homeless?" Or something else? Some will listen to Woman Wisdom and some will not. Some will listen to Jesus, and some will not. But the calling of a Christian is to pay attention to what God is up to and to make wise choices so we can do our part to reduce the consequences of those who will not listen.
God of Wisdom, you instruct us to make wise choices. Help us to hear you and to listen to you. Lead us to reject foolish ideas and instead care for your people and your planet. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.