Seek Wisdom; Pray Big
“If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
James 1: 5
James 1: 1-12
As lockdown eases in some countries, and in some Provinces here in Canada, the reactions to the developments have varied. There have been limited demonstrations against the lockdown and a greater amount of comment that the easing is coming too soon. Governments surely have difficult decisions in this area looking to the health of their people and their economies. The situation is certainly more complex than an either or decision as the two issues are so closely entwined. A third major issue can be added into the mix; the environment. The International Energy Agency have announced a CO2 reduction of 8%. Opinions vary as to whether this is all good or whether it includes a difficult message for the global economy (the documentary ‘Planet of the Humans’ has further stirred the pot on this matter). Social justice, poverty, freedom, globalism and protectionism are other major realities; there are more! So as the Church what is our role, how are we to react; what is God calling us to do?
In one simple answer we are to fulfil our Baptismal Covenant (p158-159 https://www.anglican.ca/wp-content/uploads/BAS.pdf). To aid us in this mission, to help us understand how to keep our promises, there is encouragement from James in our reading today. Firstly he calls us to be intentionally joyful when facing trails and difficulties as God is working in us to develop us through them (vs. 2-3). Then he challenges us to persevere so God’s work will be completed (vs. 4). As we find and face difficulties and confusion the encouragement is to ask God for His wisdom rather than immediate relief from that which we are facing. Once we receive His guidance we are to hold onto it without doubt, this gives us an anchor in our circumstances so that we are not tossed like a wave on the sea in doublemindedness (vs. 5-8).
In this approach there is one final gem of guidance; we are to hold onto the bigger picture of God’s love and sovereignty rather than focus intently on the problems; there are eternal purposes at play (vs. 12). This will enable us to find the Lord’s wisdom and pray ‘big’ in the way that He asks, guarding us against a ‘me’ centred, small focus reaction (1 Timothy 2: 1-6).
To Ponder: What do you think about the easing of the lockdown and Government decisions? What does your answer reveal about your perspective? Apply James’ guidance to the Baptismal vows – how do you now view and pray for the situation?
Prayer: Almighty and everliving God, let your Fatherly hand ever be over us your servants; let your Holy Spirit ever be with us; and so lead us in the knowledge and obedience of your word, that we may serve you in this life, and dwell with you in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(From the BAS Baptism service)
Praise: The Perfect Wisdom of our God
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSnzYnOe6kI
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.