Worship Companion – September 19 2021

Psalm 85, by John August Swanson

Wisdom is not just words, it is also deeds. And while “peace” is met with skepticism in our day, as Christians, we are confident that the fruit of living peaceably will bring a harvest of justice and truth to come.
Preparation for Worship:
God of grace and mercy, we confess that too often we have let envy and selfish ambition guide our hearts. Instead of boastfulness and stubbornness, teach our hearts humility. By Your Spirit, let us act in peaceful, gentle, and merciful ways, just as You have done for us in Christ Jesus. Let Christ, the Word and Wisdom of God, be our guide in word and deed this day, and every day, for Your glory. Amen.
What are the “marks” or “traits” of wisdom in the passage below from James? How do these fit with “worldly” ideas of wisdom that we have in our culture today?
What does it look like to be “peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, and full of mercy” in this time of pandemic and a national election? 
From the passages below, do you think “wisdom” and “love” are separate traits?  Do they overlap? Or are they perhaps even the same thing?
Anchor Texts:
Theme in Song:
This song touches on many of our themes this week like the intertwining of wisdom and love. It also draws on the declarations that creations shouts out across the universe in Psalm 19, and points toward the fulfillment and perfect revelation of the Wisdom of God in Christ. 

Theme in Art:
This painting doesn’t list the artist, likely because it was actually painted as a war-effort poster for the British Army during the First World War. The depiction of a Red Cross nurse illustrates the point of wisdom in two powerful ways this week for us. First, the nature of love, compassion and mercy being displayed in true wisdom is evident in the painting. The nurse is an embodiment of wisdom. Second, the nurse stand strong, bold and resolute, even supporting the weak and injured solider. The is a hint in this painting of the “weak” carrying the “strong” and the “foolish” standing over the “wise.” The men of war are often idolized, held to be larger-than-life heroes fighting for a noble cause. Yet, here strength and nobility isn’t beheld in the face of the soldier, but on the nurse, a woman whose purpose is healing and compassion.

Poster of a Red Cross Nurse with Soldier and Child, 1915, British War Museum

Theme for Kids:
Wisdom comes up in the Bible all the time, from Proverbs, to Psalms, to the book of James you’ll realize that God cares about us living wisely. It means acting in a way that honours the way God has made the world and commanded us to live.


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