7/17/2016 4:39:22 PM
A reflection on Proverbs
Posted under: Commentary Hebrew Scriptures Old Testament Proverbs
Our First Reading is Proverbs 1:1-7.
What does a Christian life look like? In the abstract, that seems pretty simple: love God and love your neighbors as yourself. That's the Greatest Commandment as Jesus describes it. But life isn't abstract. Our lives are filled with events and people. When it comes to the nitty gritty of daily living, it's sometimes hard to live the way God wants us too. Up to this point in the bible, we've heard much about kings and queens, leaders, prophets, and priests. But what if we are not royalty? How are we to act? Well, that's what the book of proverbs is all about.
The book of Proverbs describes itself as wisdom, the knowledge gained through life experience. By examining these short sayings, a person can uncover what holy living looks like. The beginning of this journey is centered on the fear of God. But "fear" doesn't mean to be afraid. Rather, this fear is to be awestruck by just how awesome God is. Wisdom literature (like Job, the Psalms, and Proverbs) unwrap how awesome God is and how we can act towards the world God made.
As Christians, Proverbs helps frame what we face in our daily lives. Doing what proverbs asks does not put us in a right relationship with God. Only through Christ and the Cross are we reconciled (brought into a right relationship) with God. Through this Christian lens, we look at proverbs to discover the grace and mercy we are called to share with the world. Proverbs doesn't help us save the world (only Christ can do that) but proverbs helps us to live in a world and discern what God has in mind for all of us.
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