Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Foolish wisdom - feasting and fasting

Rudolf Renfer who is director of human resources at the Lutheran World Federation prepared a very thoughtful liturgy on wisdom for our prayers on Monday morning this week. He based his thoughts on Matthew 11.16–19
“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to their playmates,
‘We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

Here are some short extracts from Rudolf's sermon:

"It is not easy to find an adequate attitude or life style. If we want to challenge the current economic and social systems, we might need to lose our heads, our traditional common sense, our diplomacy, and stand on the side of all those whom no one wants to stand for ...
So, John and Jesus are put together under the word of wisdom. Those who can understand John and Jesus will live under God’s wisdom. Sometimes fast, sometimes feast ...
What saves us is the force of grace, or the conviction that we believe in this crazy John and of course even more in this fabulous Jesus Christ who will save lives and communities from damage, in order to live – and why not even here in the Ecumenical Center – with the dimension of foolish wisdom which will be justified through our daily actions and through our daily work, in spite of all adversities ...
This will be sometimes through repentance and fasting, and sometimes through joy and dancing, even if the world around us thinks that we are mad or not serious."

You can find the full sermon text here and the liturgy and Bible readings here.