Message Title: A Lady’s Wisdom
Theme: Words of Wisdom
Season: Ordinary Time
Main Text: Proverbs 1:20-33
Scripture Reading: James 3:1-12
RCL Scripture: Proverbs 1:20-33 or Isaiah 50:4-9a Psalm 19 or Psalm 116:1-9 James 3:1-12 Mark 8:27-38
Focus: Proverbs opens with an image of wisdom depicted as a woman.
Function: To accept God’s invitation into a fuller life.
Other Notes: HOMECOMING & COMMUNION
Homecoming game: 1854 History Quiz—Liberty’s history records our origins beginning in 1854. So we are going to take a moment to have a little history quiz. –Put your cell phones away.
- Who was the president in 1854? Franklin Pierce (D- New Hampshire)
- What famous author was born in 1854? (Oscar Wilde Oct 16th)
- What book does Charles Dickens release in 1854? (Hard Times)
- Born in 1854, What was John Philip Sousa famous for? (composing songs/marches—marine corps song)
- What political party collapsed in the US in 1854? (Whig)—we didn’t become a two party country until Ulysses S Grant.
Scripture Reading: James 3:1-12 My brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers, because we know that we teachers will be judged more strictly. 2 We all make mistakes often, but those who don’t make mistakes with their words have reached full maturity. Like a bridled horse, they can control themselves entirely. 3 When we bridle horses and put bits in their mouths to lead them wherever we want, we can control their whole bodies. 4 Consider ships: They are so large that strong winds are needed to drive them. But pilots direct their ships wherever they want with a little rudder. 5 In the same way, even though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts wildly. Think about this: A small flame can set a whole forest on fire. 6 The tongue is a small flame of fire, a world of evil at work in us. It contaminates our entire lives. Because of it, the circle of life is set on fire. The tongue itself is set on fire by the flames of hell. 7 People can tame and already have tamed every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and fish. 8 No one can tame the tongue, though. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we both bless the Lord and Father and curse human beings made in God’s likeness. 10 Blessing and cursing come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, it just shouldn’t be this way! 11 Both fresh water and salt water don’t come from the same spring, do they? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree produce olives? Can a grapevine produce figs? Of course not, and fresh water doesn’t flow from a saltwater spring either.
Wisdom: Again, I’d like to welcome you all to Liberty’s 2021 Homecoming. This time last year we were eating outside on camp chairs. For 167 years, Liberty has been gathering together for worship. But today I want to talk about a different type of gathering… more of a collecting.
- Audience Engagement: Did your grandparent(s) have a memorable possession, item, or collection?
- Grandma Ethyl Green– “purdies” & her collection of things
- My Great Grandmother Ethyl Green was married to my Grandpa Earl, that was mentioned a few weeks ago during our Reruns series.
- Grandma Green loved to collect ‘purdie’ things. No- not pretty. Puuuuurrrrddddie. She love all kinds of pretty things, mostly the highly breakable kinds.
- Similar to how my Grandma Billie had no discretion of her favorite sweets—my Grandma Green loved many pretty things. When she passed, the grandkids were all invited have little our own little purdies from Grandma Green.
Transition: While each of us kids were quite selective in the items we chose, in our text today, we will be considering the opposite approach. Yes, Scripture has its own collections.
Recap Wisdom series so far: Song of songs & Psalms
The book of Proverbs is a collection of wisdom to help one live a full life.
Main Text: Proverbs 1:20-33 20Wisdom shouts in the street; in the public square she raises her voice. 21Above the noisy crowd, she calls out. At the entrances of the city gates, she has her say: 22“How long will you clueless people love your naïveté, mockers hold their mocking dear, and fools hate knowledge? 23You should respond when I correct you. Look, I’ll pour out my spirit on you. I’ll reveal my words to you. 24I invited you, but you rejected me; I stretched out my hand to you, but you paid no attention. 25You ignored all my advice, and you didn’t want me to correct you. 26So I’ll laugh at your disaster; I’ll make fun of you when dread comes over you, 27when terror hits you like a hurricane, and your disaster comes in like a tornado, when distress and oppression overcome you. 28Then they will call me, but I won’t answer; they will seek me, but won’t find me 29because they hated knowledge and didn’t choose the fear of the Lord. 30They didn’t want my advice; they rejected all my corrections. 31They will eat from the fruit of their way, and they’ll be full of their own schemes. 32The immature will die because they turn away; smugness will destroy fools. 33Those who obey me will dwell securely, untroubled by the dread of harm.”
- Book Details:
- Authorship attributed to Solomon
- General outline
- 1-9 Poems Father to Son
- 10-30 Proverbs to live by
- 31 Poem Mother to Son
- Genre Details: Wisdom literature but we will approach this passage differently
- Proverbs are not a covenant
- Proverbs are not a law
- Proverbs are sayings of gathered wisdom from life
- “this way typically leads to fruit”
- “that way typically leads to ruin”
- This wisdom book is intended to be balanced by the others. Proverbs has a much more just and optimistic (less realistic) outlook on life. Ecclesiastes balances that out real fast 😀
- The Text:
- The book of Proverbs depicts wisdom as a human—a woman specifically. As you continue to read the book, the portrayal of Lady Wisdom is connected to the intentions and wisdom of God. To reject Lady Wisdom is to reject God.
- Unlike glass figurines or cool tin cans, we do not get to pick what wisdom we follow. To follow God is to accept all of God’s scripture.
- Disclaimer: we’ve already talked about the fact that we may have questions and need others to help us with specific scriptures.
- Rather, we cannot reject parts of scripture that make us uncomfortable or that we don’t understand.
- Thomas Jefferson did this (photo)
- Unfortunately, we don’t get to have Jefferson’s mentality. To follow God is to wrestle with all of scripture.
- We don’t get to treat God or scripture like a magic genie—no 3 wishes, no on demand genie, God is God always.
Application: To accept God’s invitation into a fuller life.
- The invitation:
- You are all invited—you are invited to know God’s wisdom.
- You are invited to know God’s salvation.
- You are invited into the faith journey.
- Today is day 1. You’re invited to day 2… and 3… and 1033.. and 3 million.
- It’s homecoming—we’re here, we laugh, and we share memories—but its also a reminder that you are always invited. And you are always wanted.