So, this month we are going to be delving into the Old Testament book of Proverbs. Proverbs is part of what is called Wisdom literature in the Old Testament. During July, our Sunday school classes will be coming together to explore Proverbs in a study entitled, “Wiser Together: Learning to Live the Right Way.” And also during July, I will be sharing messages from Proverbs in worship and these topics can be found elsewhere in this newsletter.
Sue Ann Morrow helpfully suggests that we “Approach Proverbs one at a time, dwell on each one, consider it, think about it, relate it to our experience, argue with it, and probe it for the truth and wisdom to be found.” For example: “Why does the phrase “My son” appear 23 times in Proverbs? Which Proverb still seem wise to us today, and which do not? Picking up on that suggestion, I note that there are 31 chapters in Proverbs and 31 days in July, so I invite you to read one chapter each day in preparation for our time together.
It has been said that the book of Proverbs is the least read portion of scripture; (I would have guessed Numbers) that we pass by it on our way to somewhere else. That is probably true, but unfortunate, for Proverbs can inform our lives and living in important ways as we shall discover. Proverbs are more than a collection of wise, pithy sayings. They are instructions from God to his people. Just a sampling:
Contemporary proverbs can often be found in our culture. We might see them on the Web, in music, cartoons, or advertising; and I suspect that we live by them more than we may realize. You might be looking for some of these pithy modernisms in preparation for our July emphasis.
Enough said for now. I think this will be fun, and a great way to start off our summer together. Proverbs is witty, wise, and practical, revealing some of the principals that make life work best. I hope you will participate in our study and in worship each week in July!
Love in Christ, Joel
Rev. Dr. Doris Barron-Shell