828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Christian Formation 5/26 - Proverbs 8:1-36; The Gifts of Wisdom and Wisdom's Part in Creation

May 26, 2013 – 1 Pentecost
Proverbs 8:1-36
The Gifts of Wisdom
Wisdom’s Part in Creation
Background: The book of Proverbs is a portion of the Hebrew Scripture referred to as wisdom literature. It generally is grouped with but the antithesis of Job and Ecclesiastes along with other parts of Hebrew Canon. This book is formally entitled “The Proverbs of Solomon, Son of David, King of Israel” which leads to its connection to other books by Solomon.
Theme: Chapter 8 provides insights into the formation of Woman Wisdom and the gifts that are provided to people who are observant of Wisdom. This chapter lies in contrast to the preceding chapter that paints a picture of the “evil” side of wisdom. The authors lay out an image of God “begetting” Wisdom before the beginning of the earth.
Questions to Ponder:
* Please read Proverbs 8:1-31 and skim Proverbs 7. Briefly describe who the author is supposed to be; when this might book have been written; and what the state of affairs in Israel is.
* In chapter 8, who or what do you think Woman Wisdom is? Why do you think the bible writers equate Wisdom with the feminine?
* What do you think the relationship is between God and Wisdom? Do you think they are separate “entities” or are they part and parcel on the Creator?
* Proverbs 7 supposedly identifies traits of Wisdom’s “evil” counterpart. What do you think the difference is between these “twins”?
* What, if anything, do you think is the difference between wisdom and understanding (v.1)?
* Do you think all have the opportunity to receive Wisdom? Why might someone not respond when called by Wisdom (v. 4)?
* How do you think Wisdom speaks righteousness (v. 8)? Or, how might Wisdom’s words be righteousness?
* How might Wisdom’s instruction be better than silver (v. 10) yet Wisdom state that “riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and prosperity” (v. 18)?
* What do you think it means when Wisdom claims “The Lord created me at the beginning of his work… before the beginning of the earth.”?
* Do you think that Wisdom is part of God? Created by God? Or something that is a combination of both – part creation and part God?
* How might Wisdom be part of the group “us” (often referred to as elohim/אֱלֹהִ֔ים in Genesis)?
* How does Wisdom tell humans how to know what is wise instruction, something that is not to be neglected, especially given the presence of Woman Wisdom’s “evil twin”?
* How might Wisdom provide life?
* What do you think was this prophesy’s purpose in its day?
* What is the action that comes from this passage for us in our life and ministry?

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