When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.” (I Corinthians 2:1 – 5)

We have talked before, beloved reader, about human wisdom that comes from books and the education system. About God’s wisdom that comes from and is inspired by the Holy Spirit; wisdom that begets faith and a relationship with the Divine. You remember too, I am sure, my speaking come to a sort of faith as a young child; hearing only about Jesus Christ, his crucifixion, and the Lord God who sent Jesus to the world. It was the same “simple” message that was preached to the Corinthian church.

“Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory.” (Verses 6 – 7)

As I grew, in age and understanding, I learned more about God’s wisdom. And I suspect as I learned and understood more, I felt lead to commit that more “mature” me to faith in the Divine. This continued on until seminary; I thought after seminary there would be little or no more learning. I was wrong. And the re-commitments to the Divine have just continued.

“None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” (Verses 8 – 10)

It makes sense, now, to realize that no one really comes to the end of the knowledge of the Divine. I realized that upon my graduation from seminary, that the Lord God would continue to lead me and that the Holy Spirit would continue to instruct me. But what surprised me was that there was more I needed to learn! There is a large difference between living out a life of faith in a faith community such as seminary, and living a life of faith out in the wide world. And THAT is why I started writing columns, and then blogs, because the intersection point of faith and the broader world’s reality is ongoing. Each day there is the potential for faith life and “worldly” life to butt heads, and if a Christian is not prepared to deal with juxtaposition and potential paradox, faith beliefs can get run over and smooched into the ground. But, if one keeps outer life separate & apart from faith life – to keep faith life “safe” so to speak – both the believer and the outer world are missing out on the opportunity to inform each other. There HAS TO BE intersection points! And they have to be dealt with successfully.

“For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God.” (Verse 11)

This verse puzzled me a little, so I did some research. No one knows one’s self better than one’s self, so says Paul. Now I would contest that point, but Paul is not making a statement about the human psyche but setting up a parallel. In the same way, no one (and I mean NO ONE) knows the Divine better than the Divine/Divine’s Spirit. So it makes sense that the Holy Spirit needs to teach and lead the human spirit in its relationship and learning of the Divine. Paul continues.

“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual. Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.” (Verses 12 – 15)

Seminary. When I first started at seminary, I thought I knew why. Half way through seminary I started to wonder why I was going. But, I could not stop. When I graduated, I was pretty sure, again, I knew why I went. But then we moved, and I started to wonder why again I had gone to seminary. Now, I don’t try to figure out why – I am just so glad I went!!

“For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (Verse 16)

With all the things that have happened to me and in my life, I needed the solid foundation of an undying relationship with the Divine. As much as the eight or nine year old me needed the Lord God in my life, the sixty year old me needs it just as much. Or maybe more! One of the joys, beloved reader, is sharing what I have learned and am still learning with you. Even if only one person read these blogs (and I am fairly certain at least one person does) I would keep writing them. And actually the very bottom line truth is, even if no one did . . . . I would still write them. It is as essential to me as breathing. Selah!