26 January 2008

Wisdom Wears a Clown Suit

I talked with my sister on the phone this evening. She is, due to stages and seasons (I know, I know), bowing out of this SoulPerSuit study in Proverbs too. (Someday, y'all, we'll be meeting over these great feasts around The Table and we will get to oooh and aaaah over this blessed cuisine together!! Blogging and phone conversations are a decent substitute though- beggars can't be choosers.)

To an unbeliever, the Apostle Paul might as well be in a clown suit when he writes this letter. And the Corinthian Christians form a traveling circus troupe upon reading it.

Here's what Abby, the Poet of Influence, shared with me tonight regarding wisdom:
17God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him. And he didn't send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center—Christ on the Cross—be trivialized into mere words.

18-21The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It's written,

I'll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I'll expose so-called experts as crackpots.

So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn't God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

6-10We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it's not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God's wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don't find it lying around on the surface. It's not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven't a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn't have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That's why we have this Scripture text:

No one's ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.

But you've seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.
I Corinthians 1:17-21 and 2:6-10 (The Message)

So, where do we go to claim our red rubber noses?

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Blogger Paula said...

And he didn't send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center—Christ on the Cross—be trivialized into mere words.

Forbid it, Lord, that all my "hard work" would trivialize YOU. Thanks Erin.

12:02 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Oohh... I'd like the roller skates.

(And, on another note, I loved your comment over on Love Notes. I always love your comments. It makes me marvel that you don't consider yourself a writer, for truly you are one.)

8:16 PM  
Anonymous heather a. goodman said...

My last experience on roller skates included a hard fall on one butt! Clown-like, indeed.
Can I be the hoola-hooping clown?

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Lance said...

I like it. I really like it.

Great stuff!

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Lance said...

I will be featuring the clown quote on my blog tomorrow (1/30), as I'm quoting Paul in 1 Cor. 1:30-31.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today...!"

David said to Michal, "It was before the LORD... -- I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes."

~2 Samuel 6:14, 20-21

Na na nananana NA na na na! Na na nananana NA na na na! *honk honk*

3:50 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Roller skates, hula hoops, flowers that squirt water, floppy shoes, red rubber noses... I think there's plenty of variety in the our Groom's clown trunk that we can each pick our favorite. (Read that: spiritual gifts and just plain quirkiness)

I keyed in on that "trivializing the person of Christ" part too. May it never, ever be. May we be the simplest, bread-and-butter people on the face of the planet, if it keeps us from muddying the waters of truth.

David danced and Michal scoffed. Of all the places we ought to be free to make fools of ourselves with abandon, shouldn't it be in the midst of a room full of other self-professed fools? What are we doing on Sunday mornings??
One fool calls another fool a fool.

I'll trade you my one idea for the 621 of yours I've taken. It's a bargain, Bro.

8:20 PM  

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