Collect and Readings for The Second Sunday before Lent – Proverbs 8.1,22-31, Psalm 104.26-end, Colossians 1.15-20, John 1.1-14

The Prayer for today

Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. Amen.

Last week we were reflecting on the forgiving nature of God and this week, with the reading from Proverbs to help us, it is as if we are savouring the extraordinary creative energy of God’s wisdom, holding it and marvelling at it, personalised for accessibility. What is God’s wisdom like? With a sensitive, delighting in all the unfolding wonders, appreciating, and valuing with a childlike innocence which is playful, yet candid and pure.

It is a lovely if unexpected image and helps us to understand more of God’s nature. There is a lightness and gentleness of touch here which act as a balance to our more usual serious-minded image of a God of power and responsibility. We sense a wonderful harmony of what we, from our separate-gendered perspective might see as the masculine and feminine attributes of God.

Coming to the introduction of John’s Gospel from such an approach road, tunes us in to appreciate the mystery of the eternal Word. In one sense, Jesus the Christ is that Word separately enfleshed, visible to us when God remains hidden from our sight. There is clearly a link between personified Wisdom, of the Hebrew tradition, and the personified eternal Word, which resonated with Greek thinking. The One who draws all this together is Christ, living out, in human person terms, the creative loving of God.

As Paul explains in his letter to the Christians at Colossae, God was dwelling in all his faithfulness in the person of Jesus, so that he alone was able to reconcile all to himself, healing the creative harmony which sin had ripped apart.

The wisdom Christ displays, then, is of complete integrity and vulnerable love. Some things to think about:

1. If we who believe have the right to become ‘children of God’ by adoption, how would you expect our redeemed lives to look?

2. God created people in his own image as both male and female; Wisdom and the Spirit are both referred to as ‘she’, and the Word of God became flesh as male. What do we miss if our understanding of God is predominantly ‘male’?

God bless

Rev’d Fiona Robinson