From very early on in the life of the church, Christians understood the figure of ‘Wisdom’ in Proverbs 8 as a reference to Jesus. They assumed that God the Father had already shown, in words, hints and ways of relating, what He would reveal in full in Jesus. Wisdom is a figure who is present with God before anything else is created, and she teaches people God’s way in the world.
In this beautiful passage from Paul’s letter to the church at Rome (Romans 5:1-5), who are predominantly Gentile folk, Paul spells out how faith in God, as offered to us in Jesus, gives us “the grace in which we now stand”. This new vision of God, shown to us through the birth and life of Jesus and His suffering and death, gives us this Godly grace. It gives us hope and purpose in our suffering because through our suffering God grows the gifts of perseverance, character, hope and love in us. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us” (NIV)
In this time in the life of our world when we are struggling to come to terms with global warming, corona virus and serious political issues between nations, those who seek to follow Jesus’ way of love need to hear again these words of hope and purpose. And we need to lean into “the grace in which we now stand” through the Holy Spirit, God’s gift to those who sincerely seek to live Jesus’ way of love in our hurting world.
Rev Adelene Mills