Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Finding Wisdom

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 -- Week of Proper 19
(Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690)

"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html

Audio Podcasts of today's "Morning Reflection" and those from the past week are available from http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id244.html (go to St. Paul's Home Page www.stpaulsfay.org and click "Morning Reflection podcast")


Today's Readings for the Daily Office (p. 984)
Psalms 72 (morning) 119:73-96 (evening)
1 Kings 22:1-28
1 Corinthians 2:1-13
Matthew 4:18-25

We read of the prophecy of Micaiah today. In some ways it reads like a contemporary account.

The king of Judah (Jehoshaphat) comes to Samaria to visit the king of Israel (Ahab) to invite him to go to war together to reclaim the important city of Ramoth-gilead on the east side of the Jordan. The city was under the control of the nation of Aram. Ahab summons the court prophets to inquire of God whether they should initiate the war. The 400 prophets give a quick and unanimous report: "Go up; for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king." But the visiting King Jehoshaphat is suspicious of their unanimity. "Isn't there a prophet with another opinion?" There is. But Ahab hates him, "for he never prophesies anything favorable about me, but only disaster." Jehoshaphat insists they bring the other prophet, Micaiah.

In a dramatic scene, Micaiah mocks the court prophets who give the king only the intelligence he wants. Then he tells the truth. If the king goes to war, there will be disaster. The king will be killed and the army scattered. There follows a brief scuffle between Micaiah and the leader of the court prophets.

It's like 2002 all over again. The Bush-Cheney administration has determined to go to war. They listen to and promote only the intelligence that agrees with their decision. They ridicule and suppress the intelligence and the military advice that disagrees with them. Disaster ensues.

Paul also speaks of conflicting modes of wisdom. He recalls his initial visit to the people in Corinth. "For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling." Yesterday Paul contrasted the way of the world: demanding signs and wisdom; and the way of God: revealed within human weakness and foolishness. "God's wisdom, secret and hidden," he says, was misunderstood by "the rulers of this age." They expected God to act in conventional demonstrations of power. They were out of touch with what God was actually up to. God acted in a life that was poured out in vulnerable love -- feeding and healing -- poured out in compassion, especially toward the poor and broken.

If you want the wisdom and presence of God, says Paul, that's the place to look. In the place of suffering, weakness and compassion. That's rarely the place where kings and presidents look for their wisdom though.

Lowell
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The Rev. Lowell Grisham
St
.
Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, AR

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

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live generously.

3 Comments:

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reg golb
From CNN.com April 21,2004.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said she is not sorry she voted for a resolution authorizing President Bush to take military action in Iraq despite the recent problems there but she does regret "the way the president used the authority." "The consensus was the same, from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration," she said. "It was the same intelligence belief that our allies and friends around the world shared."

Thought Lowell might like this, especially since he is such a big fan of consensus (ie, global warming, evolution).

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger Lowell said...

Actually, there was not a consensus that Iraq had WMD's. It's convenient for Hillary now because she voted for the war. But there was great debate within the intelligence corps. Among the international inspectors who had actually been on the ground in Iraq, there was something close to consensus that there were no WMD's, that WMD's were unlikely, and that Hussain lacked a delivery mechanism.

There have been many reports and books showing the conflicting research and interpretation available to the administration that was repressed and manipulated by the White House.

Lowell

 
At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Hilary is a liar. If she is nominated, will you tell your congregation that.
Raise hands, remove blinders.

 

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