In Deuteronomy 1:13-17 Moses knows a great time of transition and change is coming for God’s people. Battles will be fought both inside and outside the community. Challenges will arise from within and without. There will be tough times and prosperous times, times of joy and sorrow. And in the midst of it all, wisdom will be required if they are to navigate these times well. Wisdom will be required if they are to not lose themselves in their successes or failures. When abundance threatens to strike them with amnesia and they are tempted to say to themselves, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ they will need the wise to rise up and say, “but remember that the Lord your God gives us the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to our ancestors.”
The wise will help them keep their eyes focused on God’s reign and faithful love. The wise will call them to faithfulness.
The wise will remind them to step away from the network news and social media newsfeeds, and breath so they can think for themselves. The wise will remind them to do the research before drawing a line in the sand. The wise will remind them to listen to their neighbors, especially the least among them, so they can hear the fullest versions of the story. The wise will remind them to take all they see and hear and measure it in light of the Scriptures. The wise will call them, above all things, to act with love for God, neighbor, and enemy alike, because that is how God loves.
The wise will remind them that God is faithful and resilient and, by God’s power, they can be resilient too.
Our Church, city, and nation does not need loud people or eloquent people or smart people.
Our Church, city, and nation needs wise people. Wise people are resilient people, faithful in love, quick to listen, humble in spirit, steady in compassion, committed to mercy, courageous in character, and knowledgable of the whole counsel of God.
The wise choose their battles wisely. The wise resist the temptation to define another human being by labels. The wise are honest with their biases and desires and how these biases and desires impact how they interpret what they see.
The wise can rightly discern the times, not with American party politics like liberalism or conservatism—you and I will answer to God for all that stuff—but with what reflects what we see in the life and teachings of Jesus.
The wise are resilient in the way of Jesus because the wise remember His resilient love on the cross to liberate the world.
Who will be the wise? Will you be the wise? Will I be the wise? Will we be the wise?
(This is a snippet from Sunday’s conversation with WCC. )