Wisdom praises herself, and tells of her glory in the midst of her people. In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory:
“I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth like a mist.
I dwelt in the highest heavens, and my throne was in a pillar of cloud.
Alone I compassed the vault of heaven and traversed the depths of the abyss.
Over waves of the sea, over all the earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway.”
Among all these I sought a resting place; in whose territory should I abide?” (Sirach 24:1 – 7)

It does not seem, beloved reader, that this incarnation of Wisdom is humble or modest. And quite frankly, it is a little off putting that Wisdom asserts herself so. I have to ask myself, “Is that wise?”

“Then the Creator of all things gave me a command, and my Creator chose the place for my tent. He said, ‘Make your dwelling in Jacob, and in Israel receive your inheritance.’ “ (Verse 8)

I think I prefer the incarnation of Wisdom as found in Proverbs. Although as I remember the way Wisdom proclaims herself there, she also lauds herself and draws attention to herself. In Proverbs Wisdom is not always heeded, just as here. In this telling, however, Wisdom is not yet rejected by the descendants of Jacob and the people of Israel.

“Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me, and for all the ages I shall not cease to be.
In the holy tent I ministered before him, and so I was established in Zion.
Thus in the beloved city he gave me a resting place, and in Jerusalem was my domain.
I took root in an honored people, in the portion of the Lord, his heritage.”

We are coming to the end of the year, beloved reader; and in the past few days I have become keenly aware of how wise it is to embrace new beginnings and new ways. It almost seems in our modern world that “wisdom” seems to be whatever easiest and expedient. It should not be like that. If this Wisdom, as the book of Sirach portrays her, is the Wisdom that is from the Divine we would do well to study her. The called and chosen people apparently were blessed in having Wisdom dwell among them. It is interesting to consider how they went from wisdom to being rejected by Yahweh, as many of the prophets major and minor take pains in writing about. What happened? What went wrong? Can we, beloved reader, discern their errors so we do not make them? Or are we destined to make mistakes – either like ones in the past or new errors that are unique to us?

May you, beloved reader, enter into the New Year grasping tightly the hand of Wisdom and may she abide with you all year long! Selah!