Season of Creation
Series C: The Wisdom Series
Some Pointers for Preachers
by D. Keith Innes
The Scripture quotations contained herein are from The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, and are used by permission. All rights reserved.
September 1 Creation Day
September 2 1 st Sunday in Creation - Ocean Sunday
September 9 2 nd Sunday in Creation - Fauna Sunday (N.B in Australia they have Fauna and Flora Sunday
September 16 3 rd Sunday in Creation - Storm Sunday
September 23 4 th Sunday in Creation - Cosmos Sunday (N.B in Australia they have Social Justice Sunday)
Third Sunday in Creation
Unlike precious minerals, which can be extracted by miners deep underground (1-10), wisdom, though of surpassing value, is absolutely elusive, hidden from all living creatures and even from the realm of the dead (20-22; cf 12-19). It belongs only to God, who knows all things including those matters that humans cannot measure or control (23-27). Reverence for God is therefore the way of wisdom. The 'fear of the Lord' is expressed by ordering our lives as God wishes, not by signing up to theories (28).
This psalm is addressed to the assembly of divine beings (literally 'sons of gods' (1) in 'the cosmic palace of God '. The Old Testament does not deny the existence of other gods, but insists that Yahweh alone is to be worshipped and served. True glory belongs to Yahweh (1-2) who gives strength and well-being to his people (11), and is also the God of the storm, the king of the created world (10). Sirion (6) is another name for Mount Hermon . 'The voice of the L ord causes the oaks to whirl' (9, NRSV) with different vowel signs added to the consonants of the Hebrew text becomes 'The voice of the L ord makes the hinds calve' (REB).
1 Corinthians 1:21-31
The contrast between divine and human wisdom is shown supremely in the person of Jesus Christ. He is both the power and the wisdom of God (24). This wisdom is inseparable from salvation ('righteousness and sanctification and redemption', 30). It is revealed ultimately in the crucifixion of Jesus (18-25) in which he laid aside his divine majesty and gave himself to those who degraded, tortured and killed him. By choosing for his own those without human wisdom, power or status, the nobodies, those who are nothing (26-29), God confirms the wisdom of the cross. Those who worship the Lord are called to live modest and undemanding lives that honour the crucified Christ, and so to embody the true wisdom.
Because of sin people often experience nature as hostile and threatening (cf. Genesis 3:17 -19). Humanity is disordered both within itself and in relation to the rest of creation (26-56). As deeply flawed people we continually damage the creation. For example climate change, which leads to ever more severe storms and other weather events, is connected with human greed and injustice. Deforestation, which can be traced to the same human characteristics, also leads to flooding and the loss of topsoil. The divine power of Jesus rebukes and heals both the storm and the disciples. He is Master of both (24-25). At this time when the disorder threatens as a result of human actions, the call to be his disciples (22) should be heard with redoubled urgency.
James L. Mays, Psalms (John Knox Press, 1994).
Compare 1 Corinthians 8:4-6.