In what ways do we think we are already wise? What do we think we already know?
And how might Jesus challenge us to unlearn and relearn these things, so that we can be brought deeper into God's wisdom?next >
Shout loudly; don’t hold back; raise your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their crime, to the house of Jacob their sins. They seek me day after day, desiring knowledge of my ways like a nation that acted righteously, that didn’t abandon their God. They ask me for righteous judgments, wanting to be close to God. “Why do we fast and you don’t see; why afflict ourselves and you don’t notice?” Yet on your fast day you do whatever you want, and oppress all your workers. You quarrel and brawl, and then you fast; you hit each other violently with your fists. You shouldn’t fast as you are doing today if you want to make your voice heard on high. Is this the kind of fast I choose, a day of self-affliction, of bending one’s head like a reed and of lying down in mourning clothing and ashes? Is this what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?
Isaiah 58:1-5next >
Isaiah knows exactly why its important not to seek wisdom in ourselves. We genuinely want to know God, and we genuinely want to worship God. But rather than looking to God to learn how, we worship according to our own wisdom. And this can blind us to the harm we cause, to the ways we go against what God wants.
We can easily see this fault in others. But we mustn’t think “so many people do this, but I have the right way.” Neither must we assume to judge ourselves, of course. As through all the readings and reflections this week, the way of wisdom is turning from ourselves to God, so that we and our knowledge can be transformed. Then we will not ask “why do we fast and you don't see?” Rather, we shall celebrate in God's creation with our neighbors.
Ed Watsonnext >
God, I pray that I do not presume to know how best to worship you already. I pray that I will always look to learn anew how to live into your glory, as you command in Jesus Christ, by loving you and by loving my neighbor as myself. Amen.next >
Be wise today by seeking to relearn wisdom through Jesus.
Look to the ways in which the light of Christ reveals things anew.
Ed Watson is a Brit living in America. He spent three years living as part of Saint Hilda's House and teaching at Saint Martin de Porres Academy in New Haven, CT before working in homeless ministries through Saint John's Cathedral in Denver. He is now a student at Yale Divinity School, studying for an MAR in Theology.
Attitude of Christ