22 January 2017

Vicar’s Reflection: Sunday 22 January 2017, Epiphany 3

What would be a sign that wisdom came from God rather than from human sources? This is the question St Paul must have pondered to write in 1 Corinthians 1 that “the message of the cross is foolishness…”. Yes! Foolishness! -to the Jews, because they want a sign, and to the Greeks because they want wisdom. Strangely, people still look for both miracles and rational answers. Instead, God’s wisdom is to send someone to save us, an answer that hurts our pride because we strive so hard to solve our problems with the tools of rationality: science, technology, education, and goal-setting and so on. We still chase after miracles: by winning Masterchef or Idol; vast wealth through Lotto. Human wisdom is not to be despised and has achieved much, and miracles happen for some. Our dilemma is that we still need saving. In God’s wisdom we find simplicity, truth, and something that is counter to conventional wisdom. This is the wisdom of Jesus who taught that the way we treat the least among us, whether a child or a sick person or a beggar reveals our attitude to God. This is a tough test for it flies in the face of the wisdom of the world: ‘survival of the fittest’, look after number one’. The first disciples to follow Jesus were in for a journey of surprises and challenges. Those who choose to follow Jesus today are in for a similar journey. Alex Czerwonka

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