Tag Archives: understanding

A Proverbial Word/ Prologue


One of the things frequently heard in my house growing up was, “the proverbial”, as in “the proverbial silver lining!”  The other day I got thinking about how many of the sayings we use in society are, in fact, from the Book of Proverbs and not just local lore. 

It is the readings which are included in Sunday worship throughout the year that we hear interpreted and spend time considering.  In a quick scan of the lectionary readings for years A,B and C I found only five Sundays on which one of the optional reading was from Proverbs. There are none in year A, three in year B, and two in year C.

 So I have decided to go through Proverbs and reflect on some of the items in light of our world situation in 2013.

To begin we have the opening comments;

1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
Prologue
For learning about wisdom and instruction,
   for understanding words of insight, 
for gaining instruction in wise dealing,
   righteousness, justice, and equity; 
to teach shrewdness to the simple,
   knowledge and prudence to the young— 
let the wise also hear and gain in learning,
   and the discerning acquire skill, 
to understand a proverb and a figure,
   the words of the wise and their riddles. 

A little unpacking. From reading the  introductory remarks from the book one would be hard pressed to make any case for this not being important content.  There is nothing to look down on in; wisdom, understanding, insight, justice, equity, shrewdness, knowledge and prudence.  And yet we rarely hear of people spending  lot of time reading and reflecting upon Proverbs.

While the intent is positive, I think most of us view it, at best, as a well meaning lecture from our elders, and at worst, the cynical views of a few people who had everything.  At the risk of  being proverbial, there is a sense that the people who were the source of these sayings should get off their high horses!

Let’s open our minds for the next while and see what Proverbs has to share with us…

As usual I have taken Bible quotes from http://bible.oremus.org/  New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition)

10 Ways Understanding the Bible is like Solving a Crossword Puzzle


flickr.com/photos/cayce/6286070/

Several years ago my spouse gave me a big book of crossword puzzles for Christmas.  There were 316 puzzles in the book, with solutions provided at the back.  Over time I have worked away at the puzzles, sometimes losing track of the book for months at a time (housekeeping is not my forte).  I found it and have been working on it again since I began my fast at Lent (see Turning it off for Lent http://wp.me/p1hsO8-8T ) Most evenings in the past several months have ended with me curled up in front of the TV with my book on my lap and a pencil in my hand.  The challenge of the puzzles is refreshing and the delight when I manage to complete a puzzle without peeking (cheating) is amazing!

By lovelihood Kim Love

So, what does this have to do with the Bible?

  1. Like Bible reading, crossword puzzles are something we often begin to do early in life when we first begin to read and write.  I’m sure you remember doing them when you were in grade school.

  2. The older you got, and the more education you gained, the harder the puzzles you were able to solve.

  3. Many people wouldn’t have bothered with another crossword once they got out of public school.

  4. Some continue to challenge themselves and work at the NY Times puzzles daily.

  5. They will go better if you do them in a quiet place without too much distraction.

  6. These puzzles can be affirmation of your knowledge and thinking abilities at times and baffling and completely unclear to you at other times.

  7. Every time you revisit a puzzle you see it differently.

  8. It is nice to have someone with you off whom you can bounce ideas.

  9. The remaining questions sometimes stay in your head for days as you puzzle over their meanings.

  10. If you really can’t get something, there is no shame in peeking, or asking someone for help.

By baslow Barry Solow

Last night I filled in the last puzzle in the book. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t completed all the puzzles as many still have holes in them.  Some which I started in pen and then got muddled up have a big X through them.  Every time I get the book out I go through it to see if I can fill in any more of the holes.  It is amazing what a little time and perspective can have on the problems.  There are some which I just don’t know, like the names of certain towns in Great Brittain, and those I will look up and hope to remember for another puzzle at a later time.

By jaybergesen Jay Bergesen

 

Unlike crossword puzzles I expect to continue puzzling out and exploring the Bible for the rest of my life.