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Lenten Reflections: Quiet Words of the Wise

'Lend Me a Hand' photo (c) 2010, Toesmasha - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ecclesiastes 9:11-18
Mark 10: 1-16
1 Corinthians 15:20-26

By Stacey Gagosian

The Ecclesiastes passage spoke the most to me.  It begins with a reminder that read, to me, a bit like “you win some, you lose some,” and that there are no guarantees that winners will always win and losers will always lose.  This can be somewhat encouraging when feeling like the hand you're dealt is always a bust.  Going further into the passage, I could hardly read it without thinking of the current political situation in Washington, D.C. “The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouting of a ruler among fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one bungler destroys much good.”  This is a very good reminder that we all need to stop shouting and do more listening.  Nonetheless, sometimes I wish the wise would raise their voices just a little bit; then again, probably I am shouting too loudly to hear them.

The other passages acted more to remind me that we are a church reformed and always reforming and that the Bible is a living, breathing document, continually reinterpreted, and not always taken literally. Further, these varying stories all remind us that we must not discount the weak and innocent, and that sometimes it is these very people who can lead us in the right direction. 

Prayer: Dear Lord, we are so grateful to you for sending your son, Jesus Christ, who has made it possible for all to have eternal life.  Help us to embrace his message, his love, and each other in order to discern wisdom.  Help us to use Lent as a time to stop shouting and start listening.  Amen.

Stacey Gagosian is a member of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Washington, D.C. This post is reprinted, with permission,  from NYAPC's 2013 Lenten Meditations booklet.


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