Solomon, in all his idealism,
painted a retrospective image
of his father King David
as a “very nice guy.”
So God rewarded Solomon with
discernment, wealth, and longevity.
Wisdom, in all her discipline,
built a house, tended a farm & vineyard,
and set an ample banquet table
for the whole community.
So God sent the simpletons & the scoffers
to her table so she would teach them.
To those who praise and impress,
much is given.
To those who serve and guide,
much is asked.
But still we praise Solomon, because he “had” Wisdom (ahem) — because God called her to instruct him, to raise him up in leadership, to guide his ways and nurture his popularity.
Is it really Solomon whose leadership we should admire?
I digress, of course. Ancient stories have nothing to do with gender bias in modern day leadership.
Woe to the preacher who does not credit Solomon for being worthy & capable unto himself.
Woe to the preacher who portrays God as the feminine Wisdom.
Woe to the preacher who calls men to confess toxic masculinity and to practice the disciplines of Wisdom herself: hospitality, nurture, fair labor, peace, humility.
And if your sermonizing for this coming Sunday leads you away from the gendered stories of Solomon and Wisdom, you can always grapple with the cannibalism of Communion in John 6.
Woe to you, too.
What say you, preachers and teachers of Good News? How are you discerning a sermon from this Sunday’s Revised Common Lectionary texts? Are you drawn to the praises of Psalm 111? Do the life instructions of Psalm 34 and Ephesians 5 suit your preaching context this week? Do you have a fondness for the image of Jesus as living manna?
Share your sermonizing notes, questions, blog links, and ideas with one another in the comments, and may Wisdom guide your preaching prep this week!
Rachel G. Hackenberg‘s book with co-author Martha Spong,, Denial Is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith), includes memories of church nurseries and grandmothers, opinions about labyrinths and weddings, and an abundance of caffeine, as Martha and Rachel strive to make sense of faith through the trials & failures of life.
RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.