Please read Proverbs 8:22-31 (see below*), which will be used throughout our “On Earth” series. Today we will focus on verses 22-23. If you have time I encourage you to read through Proverbs 8 in its entirety

The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
    the first of his acts of long ago.
Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

My trusty Lutheran Study Bible says that the translation of the first two verses of this section are not totally clear. Is wisdom (the “me” in these verses) part of the created or with the creator from the beginning? As Lutherans, my study Bible reminds me, we agree with Anthnasius’ understanding of wisdom as “the head of creation and born from God as a child is born from one’s parent.” This interconnected, together and yet separate nature of the divine work in the world through space and time reminds me of the Gospel that is heard around the world on Christmas Day, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) The opening of the Gospel of John, much like these verses in Proverbs, invites us to open up our imaginations to the divine ways of being that aren’t possible to us as humans. 

As we center ourselves for worship with this passage from Proverbs for our “On Earth” series, we acknowledge and reaffirm the role of Wisdom in creation. Not only was Wisdom with God rejoicing in the inhabited world and delighting in us (verse 31), wisdom invites us to listen to her and keep her ways. Our task is to determine what that means. As we enter into this series I wonder what might happen in us and our relationship with the earth as a result of seeking Wisdom’s way? 

In Peace, Pastor Ruth

Let us pray:

Good and Gracious God, we give you thanks for the gifts of creation. Make us wise stewards, compassionate guardians, and powerful advocates for all that you have made. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

*Proverbs 8:22-31 

22 The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
    the first of his acts of long ago.
23 Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
    before the hills, I was brought forth—
26 when he had not yet made earth and fields,
    or the world’s first bits of soil.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there,
    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,
    when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,
    so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30     then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
    rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the human race.