Paolo Veronese, “Allegory of Wisdom and Strength”,
c. 1580, Frick Collection, New York
For Sunday, August 16, 2009
Have you ever stopped for a moment to ask yourself, “How do I want to live my life . . . really?” Do I want my priority to be climbing the corporate ladder? Or achieving some great personal goal? Or entertaining myself to death? This passage, advancing a key theme of the entire book of Proverbs, offers an invitation to a different kind of life: a life of wisdom.
What is wisdom? The New Bible Commentary defines it this way: “Thinking and living in accordance with how things really are.” The Bible gives us a very clear picture of how things really are. There is a Creator who loved his creation deeply, and was broken-hearted when his creation rebelled against him. Yet so deep was his love that he sacrificed his one and only Son to win his creation back, and in the process he won his Son back too. We therefore live in a time in which all things are in the process of being reconciled back to this Creator, who is named God. What is good and pure and lovely will endure, and what is evil, perverted and ugly will not.
This passage describes the Christian life as an invitation from the nicest house of the city which of course is located on the city’s highest point. The finest foods and wines are awaiting us. Who would be so foolish as to refuse?