Many people think that the purpose of church is to make us behave well so we will be saved and go to heaven, but it is hard to see how we can reach that conclusion if we read what Jesus actually did and said. He calls us to enter the realm of God that is here at hand within and among us right now. He teaches us a new way to see and a new way to be, an inner transformation that will then result in an outer transformation that will in turn transform the world around us. That newness of life is the entire goal.
The ancient technical term for this path that Jesus taught was Wisdom. Wisdom does not mean that we have much knowledge or that we are smart, it means that we learn how to open ourselves to a higher intelligence and power and let it flow through us—you can call it the Holy Spirit or the heart and mind of Christ or the Greek scriptural name, Sophia.
To have Wisdom is to be attuned to the intelligence and power that created us and created the earth and created the universe. It is to be in the Tao, the Sacred Way, and in harmony with the workings of all nature. We see then as God sees and understand our role and place in Creation. We perceive how we need to change ourselves and our society to be on the right path.
Is there anything we need more in our world today?!? We urgently need people to be seeking this Wisdom and sharing the truths, insights and directions that come from it. We need the church to be a place where we gain training and practice in it. The Heartfulness Contemplative Training Circle will soon begin reading a book about it, Cynthia Bourgeault’s Wisdom Way of Knowing, and our worship service this Sunday will be focusing on some passages where Jesus calls us to Wisdom’s path.
We will read two gospel passages, Mathew 10:16-20 and Luke 16:1-13, and selected verses from Proverbs 8. We will sing “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise,” “Breathe on Me, Breath of God,” and one of the Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite hymns, “Lead, Kindly Light.” The tentative lineup of choral music is the ancient plainchant, “O Wisdom, Breathed from God,” and “How Can I Keep from Singing” and the beautiful South African prayer, “Thuma Mina.” Pianist Nicole Johnson will play pieces by G. F. Handel and J. S. Bach.
Here is a video of “Lead, Kindly Light:”