So it is appropriate that these lessons would direct us to be wise in our ways, as thousands of teens and twenty’s repopulate campuses in the area. They will bring with them a way they have been doing life. During their campus years that way may be broadened, changed, altered, deepened, retrenched . . . . . . . .
I believe it was Mark Twain who noted that if a person thinks and behaves the same way at a later age as they did at an earlier age, then the years in between have been wasted.
What is education? Is it getting information? Is it learning facts? Is it practicing how to play with others? As we noted last week, you can ‘know’ a lot of stuff, but still not be so ‘wise’ in applying what you know for the health of a community.
One of my memorable encounters re the education question came with a very well known Lutheran pastor and seminary professor, Joseph Sittler. I had read his work for years. He had been a pioneer in what he termed ‘stewardship of creation’. One afternoon I was privileged to be in a small group who sat with Dr. Sittler for a conversation in Chicago. Someone asked him why he had invested his whole ministry in teaching and then asked “what is education?” He said, ‘education is anything that allows you to live in a larger world”.
That larger world is the focus of wisdom. In a Biblical sense, ‘wisdom’ is not so that an individual can be seen as wise. The purpose of wisdom is so that the community and world can be enriched, guided, shepherded in a faithful and just manner.
In the book of Proverbs wisdom is embodied as female. Welcome to a larger world.
The second lesson advises hearers to live ‘as wise’ people.
As the formal educational process begins again, we look forward to a good education put into wise service.
Ever-loving God, your Son gives himself as living bread for the life of the world. Fill us with such a knowledge of his presence that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life to serve you continually, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
and walk in the way of insight."
Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 9as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
52The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 53So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever."
College and University classes have begun or are about to begin.
Public school classes will begin soon also.
Everyday in those classes and between those classes, students will make choices. About when to listen or not. About whether to study or not. About whether to do homework or the problem set or not. About what to eat and when and with whom. About hanging out with whom. And yes, about with whom to drink or do drugs.
The first lesson includes a choice Joshua presents to the people. The people stand on the edge of entry into the Promised Land. They have been 40 years on the journey to get to this point.
Joshua challenges the people that once they are in their new place, they will be making choices about the shape of their lives. They are encouraged to make good and faithful choices. The people respond that they will continue to honor and serve the God who has brought them this far – and who will go with them into this next place and step.
That sounds like a scenario for stepping onto campus. Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to make good choices and to continue to honor and serve the God who has brought you to this new promised place.
Holy God, your word feeds your people with life that is eternal. Direct our choices and preserve us in your truth, that, renouncing what is false and evil, we may live in you, through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
[Joshua said to the people], “choose this day whom you will serve.” 16Then the people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods; 17for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18and the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God."
16Then the people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods; 17for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18and the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God."
18Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. 19Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.
66Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67So Jesus asked the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" 68Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."