Shield of Virtue, Sword of Truth

I’ll start by saying I love Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. The old animated film with the distinctly Disney music and distinctly Disney horses. It has some interesting spiritual depth if you look for it.

One of my favorite parts is the final battle. Right before it starts, the good fairies gift Prince Phillip with an enchanted Shield of Virtue and a Sword of Truth.

The Shield of Virtue is one amazing shield. From all appearances, it weighs next to nothing. It’s strong enough to take blows from swords and battle-axes without a single ding or scratch. It handles large falling rocks as if they’re pebbles rolling off its face. Quite the piece of armor.

And virtue is a shield–to protect you from the consequences of sin.

For example…

If you’re a teetotaler, you’ll never find yourself facing the consequences of drunkenness.

If you don’t steal, you’re less likely to end up in jail.

If you shun anger, you’re far less likely to need to repair broken relationships constantly.

If you’re humble, you’ll probably have stronger friendships because pride can’t keep you from admitting when you’re wrong.

If you follow God’s rules for marriage, you’re much less likely to find yourself a single parent.

And, one of my favorites, if you don’t commit sin, Satan has nothing to shame you for.

All God’s instructions are for a reason. If you choose virtue–that is, following God’s commands–it will protect you from sin and its consequences.

To get back to Prince Phillip’s battle, the witch Maleficent is determined that Phillip shall not rescue the princess. So she casts a spell of fierce briars around the castle where Princess Aurora sleeps. But with the Shield of Virtue to protect himself, he uses the Sword of Truth to hack through the hedge.

The Sword of Truth is a weapon any noble might covet. It’s straight, strong, two-edged, and deadly-sharp. The briars can’t hope to stop it.

And Truth is a sword.

Ephesians 6:17 bids us take “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

In John 17:17, as Jesus prays to His Father, He says, “Your word is truth.” (emphasis mine)

So I don’t think it’s too far a stretch to say that the the Word of God, which we typically term the Holy Bible, is our Sword of Truth.

And God’s Word is certainly our best defense against Satan’s attacks.

When we’re tempted to explode in anger, we can be strengthened by this: “Put off all these: anger, wrath, malice…” and instead “put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.” (see Colossians 3:8, 12)

When we’re about to worry ourselves sick, we can remember to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

When we’re feeling proud, we can remember “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (see James 4:6), hopefully before we make a fool of ourselves.

When we’re tempted to sacrifice our bodies’ purity, we can remember to “Flee sexual immorality…. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (see 1 Corinthians 6:18, 20; emphasis mine)

If you look for the key to victory over your fight, I promise you’ll find it in the Word of God. Even subjects you think the Bible would never address are in there if you go hunting with God’s Spirit for a Guide.

Now I get to my favorite part. When Prince Phillip breaks through the briar hedge, Maleficent herself comes to fight him, saying, “Now you shall deal with me and all the powers of hell!”

And she changes herself into a dragon. A huge dragon whose fiery breath devours the ground in front of Phillip’s feet. Her mouth is big enough to hold the prince and several more, if she wanted. But Phillip doesn’t back down. He attacks whenever her snout comes near enough.

And the Sword of Truth pains the dragon, even through its stout scales. So she sets her hedge on fire and drives Prince Phillip up a cliff toward a precipice. He’s still defending himself with the Shield of Virtue, but she finally blasts a breath of fire so strong it tears the shield from his grip and hurls it over the cliff.

So the good fairies give the Sword of Truth a dose of extra power, and Phillip casts the weapon with all his strength into the dragon’s breast. (You didn’t know a great-sword could become a javelin, did you?)

My friends, that’s how strong the Sword of Truth is.

Even when the devil strips away your shield of virtue;

When you have fallen into Satan’s snares and he laughs as you’re helpless against “all the powers of hell”;

Or when you dabbled in Satan’s pleasures and now you’re covered in his filth, ashamed to be seen by your God;

The Truth can still conquer. It will set you free.

It doesn’t matter how low Satan drags you. Call on Jesus, then pick up the Scripture and let Christ help you whirl the Sword of Truth in Satan’s face.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

-Hebrews 4:12

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

-John 8:32

Satan can’t keep you down if Jesus is on your side. He’ll try, but we don’t have to let him.

When Phillip’s sword pierces the dragon, she cries out and topples over the cliff. Phillip peers over to see her dead at the bottom.

Unfortunately, the devil doesn’t die as easily as that. God has given him permission to wreak havoc for a long while yet. But Satan will flee.

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

-James 4:7

Unlike Phillip’s irretrievable shield, our Shields of Virtue can be restored to us by Jesus, the only Manufacturer of true Shields of Virtue, so to speak. Even if Satan somehow steals our Shield for a time, the Sword of Truth is still powerful. All we have to do is use it.

-Miss Darcy

P.S. Here’s the clip of Phillip’s fight from Sleeping Beauty if you’d like to see it.

Warrior

I’ve wanted to write about this for a while, but I wasn’t ready. On Sunday the Lord renewed my strength (to use a bit of “Christianese”), and now I think I can write it.

The Christian life is war. (You’ve heard that, right? But until you realize it yourself, it doesn’t mean much.)

And we forget. We forget that our enemy walks about as a roaring lion, looking for anyone to devour. You leave one gate even slightly–slightly–unguarded, and he’ll come charging in.

Actually, “charging” isn’t his only tactic. He might slowly offer you something: a thought, a book, a movie. See if you take it.

“Why, yes, that looks interesting. I believe I’ll check it out.”

So he hands you more. And more. And pretty soon he’s kicked back in a recliner in your heart’s secret room, wreaking havoc, and you wonder how on earth you got so powerless. So fearful. So covered in guilt.

(Just take my word for it.)

He has a lot of weapons. And once he gets you down, even a little, he loves to pour on the guilt.

“You can’t take that to Jesus. Think how ashamed He’ll be of you. You’ve disgraced Him. How can you look Him in the face? You’re gonna have to fight this on your own.”

Of course, we can’t. But we try. And fail. Which invites more guilt. Until, even though we know we’re saved, our hearts can hardly believe it. Certainly, they can’t act on it.

But that’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

We do not have to live in defeat. We do not have to let Satan lurk in our hidden rooms. We do not have to make friends with the thoughts he throws into our heads.

We do not have to be afraid to face Jesus.

In fact, going to Jesus is the only way we’re going to win. You have to fall on your face (metaphorically speaking; or physically, that’s okay, too) and lay your heart before Him. All of it. Because anything you try to handle on your own gives Satan potential. Satan is stronger than you. He’s not stronger than Jesus.

I’m not talking about getting saved. I’m talking about surrendering pieces of your life that you resumed control of, probably without realizing it. Give it back to Jesus.

I’m not particularly good at this.

By nature, I’m a passive person. And surrendering to Jesus is no passive act. It takes attention to jerk my own leash when I’m wandering off and say, “Darcy, get back here. Jesus didn’t say you could go down there.”

But I, for one, am sick of wishy-washy Christianity in my life. I’m sick of slipping and, instead of getting up, wailing over the fact that my enemy threw me in the mud again. I am a princess of the Kings of kings. I’m supposed to be a warrior-princess, not a mousy-timid princess.

I can only be a warrior-princess if I stick close to the Commander of the army, the Crown Prince himself. Yes, He is merciful with my mistakes. (If He wasn’t, I’d have to drop my sword right now.) But He is also encouraging, bold, fearless. He gives me His own power and expects me to stand up and use it according to His battle plans.

Like I said, I’m not especially good at this. But, oh, I’m going to try.

I want to be a warrior.

-Miss Darcy

 

The Messiah’s Welcome, Part 3

(I hope you will forgive this being two weeks late. Between Christmas projects and unexpected traveling, I couldn’t get it posted. So I present it today, on the Twelfth Day of Christmas. In case you missed them, here are Part 1 and Part 2 for your perusal.)

My cousin Abijah did arrive two days after Joseph and Mary. He was old, but not frail. He could have lodged in the stable, but he got Uncle Zadok’s smallest upper room to himself. Which I thought extravagant in view of our cramped quarters, but of course I said nothing.

That’s how Mary came to give birth in our stable. The morning after I spoke with her, her pains started. They intensified throughout the day, as often happens with a woman’s first birth. In the afternoon, she lay down on fresh straw, and Mother hung blankets to screen the stable from the house. Aunt Abihail, Uncle Tilon’s wife, attended her, and I assisted because no one else cared to and because I was interested in midwifery. Bethlehem had a midwife, but she came only for difficult births.

Joseph insisted on being present, which was unusual for a father and made my aunt a little nervous, but I think Mary liked it, and he kept out of our way. Mary was calm and serene. Throughout the whole labor, she never screamed, unlike my cousin Elam’s poor wife. In fact, it was the most uneventful birth Aunt Abihail had ever seen except for one thing.

Mary was a virgin. Even Aunt Abihail had to believe it. We never spoke of it after that night, but she knew and I knew, and Mary knew that we knew. Yes, I was shocked. I folded and refolded the swaddling cloths about twenty times as I thought of it.

The baby Son of God entered the world near midnight, crying like any other baby. Then Mary called His name softly: “Jesus.” And He hushed and snuggled in her arms. After a little while I helped Aunt Abihail wash Him, rub Him with salt, and wrap Him in the swaddling cloths—long strips of soft clean linen. Babies like to be wrapped up, snug.

Then I filled the goats’ manger with the cleanest straw we had and covered it with a thick rug. There we laid Jesus after Mary fed Him. None of the family came to see Him. “To let Mary rest,” Mother said, but she’d been quick enough to visit Elam’s little daughter last year. They barely got a moment’s peace the first three days.

When there was nothing more to do, I went to the sleeping mat I shared with my sisters and crawled under the blanket. But I couldn’t sleep.

I had lain there for perhaps half an hour when someone tapped on the front door. I lifted my head, but Father snored on. Until the tapping became pounding.

Father sat up. “What’s amiss?” he shouted.

“Sir, is there an infant in your manger?”

I sat straight up. Who could know we had a newborn baby in our stable? With all the Romans in town for the census, I was frightened until I realized no Roman could speak Aramaic so naturally.

“What’s this foolishness?” Father grumbled as he got up. Mother rose, too, and lit a lamp. Father unbolted the door. “What?”

“We seek a baby in a manger, sir. Is there one in yours?”

“Well, yes.” Bewilderment filled Father’s voice. “How would you know?”

“We were watching our flocks in the field when an angel told us a baby had been born who was our Savior, the Messiah. May we see Him?”

Listening from my sleeping mat, I felt a strange tingle flow from my toes to my hair. This was so bizarre, yet quite appropriate. Of course an angel should announce the birth of the Son of God.

“You’re saying an angel told you the Messiah was born in my stable?” Father demanded.

“Not your stable, precisely. We just came to Bethlehem and this seemed the place we should knock.”

“I see.” Now Father sounded dumbfounded. “Come in.”

He stepped back, and in trooped half a dozen shepherds. Their smell was unmistakable. An unexpected audience for angels, but then, the Messiah in a manger was unexpected, to say the least.

A hand pulled back the blankets between us and the stable. Joseph appeared, saying, “Come and see Him.”

You should have seen the reverent quietness with which those shepherds crept into our stable. More amazing still, the utter awe on their faces when they slipped back out to let another group come in. I don’t know how many there were; more than fifty, men, women, and children. My brothers and sisters and I sat against the wall out of the way. The shepherds spoke little until the last ones had tiptoed back outside.

Then the one who had knocked spoke to Father. “We are honored by the hospitality you show humble shepherds. May the Lord bless you for sharing the Messiah while he lodges under your roof.”

“I still don’t understand how you know that infant is the Messiah,” Father said.

“An angel appeared to us, bringing good tidings of great joy for all people, he said. He told us a Savior was born, our Messiah, the Lord. And we would find him wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.

“And then, sir, the sky was filled with a host of heavenly beings singing, praising God. Such music you’ve never heard, nor could ever hope to hear. They said, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.’”

I wished with all my heart I could have heard that singing.

“But what does it mean?” Father demanded.

I don’t know. All I know is we have found it just as the angel said. And I will never cease to praise God for it as long as I live.” The man shook Father’s hand. “You and your household are greatly blessed.” With that, he left.

Father shut the door, shaking his head. “Rachel, am I dreaming?”

“If you are, so am I.” Mother slipped off the head-covering she’d thrown over her hair.

“Come,” I whispered to my siblings. “Come see the Messiah.”

“How do you know He’s the Messiah?” my brother Simon whispered back.

“Can you doubt after what we’ve seen? Come.”

Whether they believed me or not, they joined me in creeping between the blankets that screened the stable. I suppose in some ways Jesus looked just like any other baby. Sweet, red-faced, tiny. But somehow different. Regal, I’ll call it, for I can’t think of anything that suits better.

Mother and Father peered over our shoulders at the Baby clinging to one of Mary’s fingers as she lay beside the manger. I know not whether they truly knew the enormousness of what had occurred in our stable.

But I know that Jesus is the Son of God, our Messiah. And, as Mary said, one day the whole world will know.

-Miss Darcy

The Messiah’s Welcome, Part 2

(In case you missed the first part of Jedidah’s story, the link opens in a new tab.)

The stable was quite snug when we finished if you discounted the cow and the donkey in the other half. But I was used to their smell and noise, and I supposed Joseph and Mary would grow accustomed to it, too.

Mary was nothing like I expected. I’d imagined her bold and flamboyant, like a loose woman, you know. But she was quiet and dignified. Not the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen, certainly not pretty enough to make Joseph lose his head the way he had, but she had a sweet countenance. When she learned she was to dwell in the stable, she laughed as if she thought it fun and thanked Mother sincerely.

My cousin Joseph was kind, as usual, and devoted to his bride to a degree that surprised me. They slipped into the routine of the household just like our other visitors. Joseph joined a distant cousin in his carpentry shop, and Mary, although large with child, helped with whatever light work she could. She took no offense whenever Mother or one of my aunts slighted her. They didn’t do it much, for she was Joseph’s wife, but you know how women can deliver subtle barbs without appearing to.

Four days after their arrival, I got a chance to work with Mary. We were carding wool in the courtyard, and I was trying to come up with some real conversation, when a frown passed over Mary’s face and she pressed a hand to her back.

“Are you well?” I asked.

“Oh, yes.” She took up her wool-combs again. “Mother told me to expect such pains in the days before the birth.”

“Are you…” I paused, trying to form my question as politely as possible. “I suppose you would have preferred the census came at another time so that you might give birth in your own home?”

She smiled an odd smile. “Actually, it is fitting that the child be born here, in the City of David.”

“Why?” Mother says I always ask nosy questions, and I guess she’s right, but Mary didn’t seem to mind.

“Because he is the Son of David.”

I didn’t see how he was more a son of David than my own brothers, if the child was indeed a boy. “But…all the men in this household are sons of David.”

She smiled that strange, almost secretive smile again, then dropped her gaze to her work. “Not quite the same way.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“You would not believe me if I told you, Jedidah.” She lifted her brown eyes to meet mine, and she didn’t look a bit angry or upset.

“Try me,” I dared her, speaking like my brothers.

“Very well.” She went right on working, not looking at me. “The child I carry is not Joseph’s nor any other man’s. I am with child through the Holy Spirit.”

My mouth fell open as my brain jumped to the only logical conclusion. “Mary, what are you saying?”

“I’m saying this child will be called the Son of God. He is our Messiah.”

I laid my hand on her busy ones. “But, Mary,” I said solemnly, “that cannot be.”

She looked me full in the face. “With God nothing will be impossible.”

What does a person say to that? You must admit it sounded preposterous. Not the “with God nothing will be impossible,” but the idea of her bearing the Messiah. And if you’re completely honest, it sounds impudent, saying that she hadn’t sinned—when there was every indication she had—but that God was responsible for her pregnancy.

Yet I couldn’t help liking Mary, and I wanted to believe her even though half of my mind insisted she must be telling shameless falsehoods. So I said nothing.

“You do not believe me,” she said. “No one does. Neither would I unless the angel had told me.”

“The angel!” I burst out. Angels only appeared to important prophets in days of old.

“But it doesn’t matter, Jedidah. I know the truth. Joseph knows. One day everyone will know that God has visited His people.” She rolled the bit of wool off her comb and pinched another piece from the fleece we worked on. “Come, let us talk no more of it. Tell me about all these new relatives of mine, that I may get them orderly in my mind.”

So I told her of my aunts and uncles and cousins, and where our visiting cousins belonged on the family tree. And I mulled over what she’d told me until my head felt numb.

Still I could not decide what to believe.

To be continued next week…

-Miss Darcy

The Messiah’s Welcome, Part 1

(Jedidah, pronounced jeh-DYE-dah, is a Hebrew girl’s name meaning “beloved.”)

My name is Jedidah.I was fourteen the year Augustus Caesar ordered the world to be registered for taxes. You know those Romans. Forever counting everything in their possession so they can extract every possible penny. And they couldn’t let people register by residence. No, everyone had to travel to the town whence came the root of their family tree and register there.

Bethlehem isn’t the most up-and-coming place in Judea. Though it is the City of David, the greatest king in the Hebrews’ history, it’s only a small town with few people and many sheep.

But King David had many sons, and his sons had sons, and so on down the line to my own father. (I have four brothers.) When the census came, people began pouring into Bethlehem like wine pouring into a cup. Except a person pouring wine usually stops before the cup overflows. But the people kept flooding Bethlehem.

The marketplace was crowded all day long, six days a week. Prices doubled and tripled as more people arrived to buy the goods. Mother had many a heated argument with the sellers of fruit and vegetables, and most times she talked them down because we were regular customers who would return week after week, long after the crowds returned home.

At our home, my three sisters and four brothers and I had to vacate our rooms on the roof so that Uncle Hezekiah’s family could lodge there. It made for tight quarters in the main room below. My father’s other three brothers had homes adjoining ours, enclosing a large courtyard. Every upper room in the household was full to bursting at night, except one small room above Uncle Zadok’s house. We’d reserved that room for a distant cousin whom I had never met, but he was even older than my grandfather, so he deserved special consideration. With so many cousins, it was like the feast of Passover in our own town instead of in Jerusalem.

I was helping mother prepare the evening meal one afternoon, when Isaac, my fourth cousin, came walking in the open front door.

“Shalom, Aunt Rachel.” (She isn’t really his aunt, but she feels more like an aunt than cousin. I call his mother my aunt.)

“Shalom, Isaac. Come to play with your cousins?”

“No, I bring a message from Mother. The first of the relatives from Nazareth have come, and Mother says we cannot possibly make room for them.”

Which was quite true. Isaac’s family hosted our cousins who dwelt all the way in Phoenicia. They had seven children, and Isaac had four siblings at home. Not to mention their house and courtyard were much smaller than ours.

“From Nazareth?” Mother’s brow furrowed. “But we did not expect them until two weeks hence, after Hezekiah’s family had returned home.”

“It’s only Joseph bar Jacob and his wife Mary. Joseph says he dared not wait later, for Mary is so near her time.”

Mother pursed her lips, and I knew exactly why. We had heard of Mary, with child only a few months after she and Joseph were betrothed. We expected Joseph to put her away, for he was a righteous, just man as far as we knew. And, lo, he took her to wife anyway. Mother said that made it clear whose child Mary carried, and Father agreed, saying he feared what our family would come to if such shamelessness continued.

“Tell your mother to send them down here, Isaac. We’ll find a place for them,” Mother said.

“Thank you, Aunt Rachel.” He waved at me. “See you, Jedidah.”

“See you!” I called after him.

Mother went on kneading bread, pounding it harder than usual. “This is simply deplorable.”

“Why can’t we put them above Uncle Zadok’s house?” I suggested. “We don’t know when my cousin will arrive, and—”

“Jedidah!” Mother looked at me like I’d suggested we work on the Sabbath. “Your cousin Abijah is an aged and venerable man. It would be most unsuitable to give his room to Joseph and that wife of his.”

“Well, you’re not going to make them lodge at the inn, are you?” I was a little saucy because she’d scolded my idea so harshly. “You know what they’re charging for sleeping space these days, and since Mary’s with child, it doesn’t seem proper.”

“Hold your tongue, young lady. Of course they won’t lodge at the inn. They can sleep in our stable.”

“The stable?” I looked over my shoulder. My father wasn’t rich, and our stable occupied the rear half of our home, separated from the rest of the room by a step down and by a short fence. It didn’t seem like the place to put guests.

“Fetch your brothers and have them move the goats to Uncle Zadok’s stable. They can clear the straw, we’ll scrub the floor, and with fresh hay down it should be quite snug.” Mother returned her attention to the bread dough and muttered, “That half of the stable is bigger than Zadok’s room, anyway.”

I passed through the stable to the courtyard, seeking my brothers. I still thought an expectant mother ought to have more privacy than a stable even if she hadn’t been a virgin when she wed. But a stable was better than the inn.

To be continued next week…

-Miss Darcy

What Child Is This?

I love Christmastime. I mean, I really LOVE Christmastime. I love the lights, the music, the fragrant spices, the secrets hidden all over the house.

For millennia mankind has celebrated joyous occasions by feasting on delicious food and sending gifts to friends and family. (Esther 9:19, for example)

And why do we celebrate?

Because of a tiny Child.

What Child is this who, laid to rest on Mary’s lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet while shepherds watch are keeping?

This Child, sleeping in His mother’s arms like any other child. Except He has an audience of quiet, reverent, awed shepherds; and angels–angels!–announced His birth.

This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing!

Christ, the Anointed One. The King of heaven and earth. He is the Child sleeping in His mother’s arms.

Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why are we so slow, so shy to give Jesus praise, when He is the King of the universe?

Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian fear: for sinners here the silent Word is pleading.

Why is the King in such a poor stable with an ox and a donkey crunching feed in the background? Why not a palace?

Because few of the people He came to save live in palaces. Most of them live in poverty, or just get by tolerably. And this tiny King is not afraid to associate with them.

Even now, His very presence pleads with them to turn to their loving Creator.

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.

He will bleed to save them.

Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why are we so slow, so shy to bring Jesus praise, when He has bled for our salvation?

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh;

Incense, because He is God. Gold because He is royal. Myrrh, a burial preparation, because He will die.

Come peasant, king to own Him.

Everyone, no matter your status. Come.

The King of Kings salvation brings; let loving hearts enthrone Him.

That’s where the King of Kings wants to establish His throne–in the hearts of those who love Him.

Raise, raise the song on high!
The virgin sings her lullaby.

Can you imagine the first songs of praise for Baby Jesus? The angel’s chorus. And Mary singing, like any mother sings to her baby.

Joy! joy! for Christ is born, the Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why are we so slow, so shy to lift our voices and sing to the One who has brought us such joy?

I find such immense depth in the lyrics to this song, and I’ve just touched a bit on the things I see in the words. Here are the complete lyrics, uninterrupted by my musings. And this is my favorite recording of “What Child Is This?”

What Child is this who, laid to rest on Mary’s lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing!
Haste, haste to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian fear: for sinners here the silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through, the cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the Babe, the Son of Mary!

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh; come peasant, king to own Him.
The King of Kings salvation brings; let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise the song on high! The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy! joy! for Christ is born, the Babe, the Son of Mary.

-Miss Darcy

Wisdom, a Poem

(I have a guest post today. A poem by my sister, Leah Fornier. Read it slowly. You might even want to read it twice. It’s that deep. And I love the wordplay.)

Wisdom

By Leah Fornier

We worship wisdom and the wise.
Where are the wise?
We search for understanding.
Where is understanding?
What is worldly wisdom and understanding?
They are foolishness.
Fools are we to follow
The worldly wisdom of the wise.
Who is wise?
Is it not God who has made
Our wisdom foolish?
The world in its wisdom
Forgot the wisdom of the most high God:
The God who made wisdom,
And gave wisdom.
The God who sent the message of salvation
Through the foolishness of His wisdom.
Can we then say, ‘That is foolish,’
Or, ‘That is wise’?
Do we know the wisdom
Of the God of wisdom?
What can we understand,
We, who scorned the Savior, as foolishness?
But who can say,
We who know not wisdom,
What is foolishness?
Christ is the foolishness of God,
Which is yet much wiser
Than the wisdom of man.
Christ is the wisdom of God,
For those who seek wisdom –
Foolishness in the light of worldly wisdom,
But wisdom in the light of God’s foolishness.
The foolishness of all who believe
Is the wisdom of God,
Made manifest to us through Jesus Christ,
The foolishness of God,
And the salvation of man.
This is wisdom.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

-1 Corinthians 1:18 (NKJV)

-Miss Darcy