Trinity Sunday, The Delight of Wisdom: Reflections on Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

As much as many would deny it, ministry is a learned profession. It requires far more than a good heart, a nice suit, a ready wit, and a full head of hair. It requires constant thought, continuous study, hard reflection on the world and on the world of the text.

Look, Lady Wisdom calls out, Discernment lifts her voice. From the very heights, on the way, at the crossroads, she takes her stand, by the gates, at the city's entrance, at the approach to the doorways, she shouts, 'To you, all of you men and women, I call out, and utter my voice to humankind" (Pr. 8:1-4).

There is nothing hidden about Lady Wisdom, nothing finally so esoteric that she cannot be understood. She is accessible to all.

But she does not suffer fools gladly. "Understand shrewdness, you dupes, and you fools, make your heart understand" (8:5). The heart was for the Hebrews the seat of will and intelligence, so when Lady Wisdom commands us to make our hearts understand, she means that we need to work our brains in such a way as to grasp the right ideas and thereby avoid the stain of foolishness, a foolishness that the world needs no more of.

Lady Wisdom still calls, and fools, like my former student mentioned above, still refuse to listen. That is nothing less than a tragedy, for in Lady Wisdom there is much delight, great pleasure, recesses of joy too often untapped. Deuteronomy (and much later Jesus) bids us to love God with our "heart," but until we "make our hearts understand" the ways of Lady Wisdom, it is just not possible to love with our hearts in that way.

Today I celebrate the delight of Lady Wisdom, who delights her God always and who sheds that delight on all of us. I urge you to take of her delights by making your ears listen to her call and by making your hearts understand her ways.

12/2/2022 9:10:38 PM
  • Progressive Christian
  • Opening The Old Testament
  • Progressive Christianity
  • Sacred Texts
  • Wisdom
  • Christianity
  • John Holbert
    About John Holbert
    John C. Holbert is the Lois Craddock Perkins Professor Emeritus of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX.