Our Conference Minister, Carrie Call, which some of you met when she preached at Grace this spring, was installed to her position last Sunday at Lancaster Theological Seminary. Due to covid her installation had been postponed until now, but that took nothing away from the beautiful occasion that unfolded on Sunday.
Part of that special service was a sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Catherine Williams, Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship and the Director of Chapel Worship at Lancaster Theological Seminary. Carrie excerpted part of that sermon in this week’s PCC News.
I would like to excerpt some of what she excerpted for you so you can read some spot-on insight from Rev. Dr. Williams. May you find her words to be a source of inspiration as you read them. Her text for preaching was from the book of James…
“For James, wisdom is holy (pure), disposed to peace, patient, willing to yield, compassionate, producing good conduct, impartial, and genuine. Why does any of this matter in 2021? Because it’s 2021, the year after 2020.
Wisdom matters because it is skill at living, especially when life goes off the rails.
Wisdom matters when leaders lead people who would rather die than be led wisely.
Wisdom matters when knowledge and information become so skewed people don’t know what to believe any more.
Wisdom matters when Christianity separates itself from the core values of God’s Reign to align itself with political propaganda.
Wisdom matters when church attendance is declining and the Church of Jesus Christ is poised to re-shape, re-define, and re-deploy itself.
Wisdom matters when natural disasters happen in such rapid sequence that our compassion reserves are depleted faster than we can keep up.
Wisdom matters when truth is under assault.
Wisdom matters when terror and revenge become diplomatic strategies.
Wisdom matters when racism and hate crimes shatter and splinter any sense of community we thought we had.
Wisdom matters when life makes no sense!
Wisdom matters, my God, when death makes no sense!
Wisdom matters because many of the skills we thought we had in living are now outdated; we are in the next level of the game now. Time for an upgrade!
And still there is hope. Because the kind of wisdom we need is not from below, as James writes. It is not the kind that comes from a humanist perspective. It comes from above, from God who gives liberally to all who ask for it.”