For many reasons, it is easy to feel stressed right now. Stress is intensified by a lack of hope or the assumption that relief is far away. Disruption of our normal routines contributes to the already-bad situation. So what can we do?
Turning to the Book of Wisdom can be comforting. It is an easy read, and I highly recommend Chapter 7:22b-8:1. We read of the nature of Wisdom, and I am reminded right away of the multitude of reasons I should continue to pray for a personal outpouring.
The passage to which I refer lists numerous attributes of Wisdom’s spirit: holy, humane, free from anxiety, all-powerful, loving the good—-to name a few. If we feel stuck in our stress, we need Wisdom to get us unstuck, verse 24:
For wisdom is more mobile than any motion;
because of her pureness
she pervades and penetrates all things.
Since we are praying in this season of Advent in preparation for celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Light of the world, I particularly delight in verse 26 which tells us:
For she is reflection of eternal light,
a spotless mirror of the working of God,
and an image of his goodness.
Television shows and movies vividly portray a lot of badness in the world. News media report the sensational, bad things happening every day. It is so comforting to contemplate the goodness of God and pray for his help to reflect this goodness as best we can.
We can pray for Wisdom to renew us, to help us see any careless error in our ways and, thankfully, better prepare ourselves to receive Jesus this Christmas.
We can rejoice in the beautiful imagery in verse 29a:
She is more beautiful than the sun,
and excels every constellation of the stars.
We willingly look at the night skies for meteor showers, glimpses of the northern lights, and, on December 21, what is called the “Christmas Star of 2020,” the closest visible conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 800 years.
We can have joyful hope with wisdom because verse 8:1 says:
She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other,
and she orders all things well.
Nothing is out of Wisdom’s range. We pray for humble, stress-free openness as the wonder of Christmas draws near. Praise God for holy Wisdom!
The scripture passages are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, CT. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.