Monday, August 20, 2007

Wisdom...

Remember last Wednesday, I was ruminating on Christ and Wisdom. I thought I understood that as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1 that Jesus is Wisdom. So, then I was trying very unsuccessfully to explain the connection?
Okay, so I picked up a book that I love and highly recommend: The Signature of Jesus by Brennan Manning. On page 65 he writes:
3. The discovery of where true wisdom lies. We often think of wisdom as the sum knowledge, insight, and learning we have accumulated from the life process, but the wisdom I speak of here is your own existential experience of the love of Christ crucified. What is the evidence that points to the source of true wisdom? It is your own experience of release from chronic egocentricity. It is your own deliverance from chronic niceness. It is your own awareness that absolutely nothing--neither the negative judgments of others nor your debased perception of yourself, neither your scandalous past nor fear, guilt, self-loathing, or even death--can tear you away from the love God made visible on Calvary. This is what confirms the place where wisdom resides.

This is more or less what I was trying to say. That because wisdom is a characteristic of God, it is an active voice of God. That because of who Jesus is, He has and embodies this voice. It is this voice through Him that allows for us the certainty that God has spoken forgiveness and grace over us. Furthermore, by tapping into this voice, by getting to know the voice of Wisdom, we can tap into what we hear thus setting ourselves free from the false intelligence of the world.

Why was it important at all that it was as a "feminine voice" that Wisdom was portrayed in the Old Testament Proverbs? To me, and this is only me...because it is an overall connectedness to my femaleness to God's perceived maleness. If I am to believe that this Jesus--a man--has been tempted in the ways that I have been tempted. If I am hearing a very masculine or even a neutered account of who God is weekly in church and biblestudy, how then I understand in my human mind that this same God sent his SON to die for me. Where can I begin to see myself in this? And knowing that Widsom is personified as a feminine character...and that Christ had embodied it, increases my understanding and consequently, my faith that I am part of this story.
Therefore--I understand that the Christ was tempted as humankind was tempted, not as man is tempted. materialism, power and hedonism--the big three temptations--they cover all the ways humankind can be tempted (see the Tempations of Christ in Luke) In the United States, these are soo big they are demi-gods and, so, we need to add to it idolatry. Jesus took these temptations, these sins with Him to the Cross. Regardless of how they are presented, they all have roots in these three. So, no He not have been tempted with Internet Pornography per se...but hedonism, yes, he has been. No, he may not have understood murder from the perspective of a drive by shooting, but he understands the temptation of power and dominance.

But, what about afflictions? Pain? How can I know with my human mind that Jesus understand the afflictions that are personal and specific to me as a female. Most of our afflictions stem from someone acting on the temptation from the three temptations--for example: rape/power; poverty/materialism; illness/hedonism. As humans, as women, we are often caught between our personal temptations, and the affect of someone else acting on the temptation.

What about non-temptation related afflictions: barrenness, depression?

Jesus saw it all and had to take all of it. "Father, Father, why have you forsaken me." He said. (I'm sure we've all felt that despair when we looked into our own temptations and afflictions.) And since Wisdom is part of His make up---part of His
information...he intrinsically understands ME! (Oh, don't you just get chills when you think of things like that. The intimacy of Christ!)
And, so, as believers, we witness on behalf of Jesus and his mission of salvation and kingdom. We tell people abut it. And we encourage ourselves, our families, our friends, and strangers:

The Proverb says:
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

We are able to speak instruction, because of through experience we have gained and formed a relationship with Wisdom. Because Jesus died for us, we are able to gain salvation and thus, speak faithful instruction into the lives of others.

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