Walking in the Way of Insight – Reflection for Trinity 11 15 August 2021

Wisdom has built her house,
she has hewn her seven pillars.

She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,     she has also set her table.

She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls                             from the highest places in the town,

“You that are simple, turn in here!”                                                 To those without sense she says,

“Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.

Lay aside immaturity, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.”

Proverbs 9:1-6

Jesus said: ‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever: and the bread that I will give for the life of the word is my flesh.’

John 6:51

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As I write, students up and down the land are receiving their GCSE results. Earlier in the week, A level and BTEC results were awarded too. In these past difficult months, education has been severely disrupted by the pandemic. Students and teachers and all those who support them have had to get to grips with new ways of learning online whilst based at home. In a year unlike any other, exams were replaced by teacher-assessed grades. It’s been tough and the results much anticipated.

In our bible reading from Proverbs, the personification of Wisdom invites her listeners to ‘walk in the way of insight.’ This sort of insight cannot be externally examined or assessed. Wisdom speaks rather like an Old Testament prophet, threatening her listeners but also offering peace and security to all who obey her. She invites everyone to a banquet which is set in a house she has built with seven pillars. It is thought perhaps that this is a nod to Wisdom’s role in creation, since it was believed in antiquity that the world stood on seven pillars. Here Wisdom is identified as the divine summons issued in and through creation, a communication of God through creation to humankind. Wisdom’s call must be discerned not learned: ‘Come eat of my bread and drink the wine I have mixed…..walk the way of insight.’

Christian theology has applied the figure of Wisdom to Jesus. In his life, death and resurrection we see Jesus, the incarnate Word of God, he who mediates between God and God’s world. This Jesus invites us to feast not on ordinary bread and ordinary wine, rather the bread that is his body, eternal food that sustains us in this world and into eternity.

In accepting the invitation to fashion our lives on the life of Christ, we walk in the way of insight. Faith is the gift of God to all who believe.

Rev Canon Nikki Arthy, Rector

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