Aloha Friday Message – October 9, 2015 – The Wisdom of Love

1541AFC100915 – The Wisdom of Love

Read it online here, please.

Wisdom 7:7, 11 –
7 Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
11 All good things came to me along with her, and in her hands uncounted wealth.

E pili mau na pomaika‘i ia ‘oe a me ke akua ho’omaika’i ‘oe, ʻŌmea! Today I am taking our lead verse from the Book of Wisdom. You won’t find this in your King James Bible because it is not part of the authorized canon for that version or translation. Nonetheless, it is a useful resource for learning about ways to live and love in harmony with God and neighbor. We certainly know well that LOVE is one of the core characteristics of God to which we can most readily relate. It is wise to love because God is Love and Love is the Wisdom of God. As the prophet Daniel said, “Blessed be the name of God from age to age, for wisdom and power are his.” (see Daniel 2:20) [Daniel said: “Blessed be the name of God from age to age, for wisdom and power are his.] Today’s message will be filled with links to scripture; not all of the passages will be copied into this text, so I encourage you to follow the links so you can see them in context and read them in two versions or translations of the Bible.

Before I continue, I want to acknowledge and describe the approach to this topic between what is written here and what has been written under the same title by Jacob Needleman. Dr. Needleman is a widely published – and widely read and revered – author. My conclusions differ significantly from his, though, in that he advocates for intense introspection as the way to know and understand God. I concur that we do well to look inside our lives to find what God is doing, but also believe that we need to look beyond our inner-beings so we can see our connections with the God who is one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. (See Ephesians 6:4-6) [There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.] We have seen previously that reverencing and loving God is the beginning of wisdom. We’ve said repeatedly that God is Love. Let us go, then, to that Chapter of Love, 1 Corinthians 13, and see how love is described there:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

We know that it is wise to be patient and foolish to be impatient. We know that being kind is far better than being cruel. We know that the green monster of envy destroys lives. We know that proud behavior  and arrogance lead to destruction (See Proverbs 16:18 [Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.] and 1 Samuel 2:3 [Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.]; be sure to check that second one.) Rudeness is unbecoming to anyone, but especially so to Christians who are to defer to others, to honor others above themselves (See Romans 12:9-12 [Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.]), and to ensure their love is sincere. The qualities we expect in church leaders should be the qualities we expect in church members (See Titus 1:7-9 [For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it.]

). Each of us knows in our heart of hearts that everything in verse 7 is true because we have all seen both side of those characteristics.

It bears all things, because Love gives birth to tolerance and protective nurturing.
It believes all things, because Love teaches us to trust and to never lose faith
It hopes all things, because Love make us hopeful because we have it as a gift of Grace
It endures all things, Because Love never ends.

One can readily see that Paul’s description of Love is a beautiful portrait of Christ. Perhaps we don’t think of it that way often enough. Jesus is the Love of God who by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary. That is the Wisdom of God’s plan – Salvation is assured by the Creator in cooperation with his Creation. All of that – from Creation to Salvation – is Love. Everything from Salvation to the events of your life is Love. God is Love. He wants us to be Love as well.

Love one another as I have loved you.

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

This is the Wisdom of God, and is therefore the Wisdom of Love. It is not found through deep introspection, but rather by seeing how greatly God loves us and then finding that love within us so that we can love him as well as our neighbors.

Here are a couple more things to think about.

WisePlanEvilPlan

 

 

 

 

 

WiseWords

 

All of us can experience the Wisdom of Love, but we cannot do it by ourselves. That is why Jesus told us “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” (See Mark 10:27) Think about the Wisdom of YOUR love. Does it bless God, bless your neighbor, and bless you? Those blessing are among the good things and uncounted wealth that come with Wisdom. Blesséd be God forever!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved!

Please take a few moments in your prayer life to ask God’s help with family and friends who are battling cancer. Some are in remission, some are in recovery, come are putting all their enrgies into fighting it. Use the Wisdom of Love to intercede for them.

 

Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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