Gift: Wisdom– With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the whole image of God.
Reading: This saying is trustworthy 7 and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16)
Observation: Paul writes in his letter to Timothy that he is the foremost of sinners…What? How can Paul who Jesus blinded to make his conversion stick, be the foremost among sinners? I think he says this, whether he actually said it exactly this way or not, to point out that we should not make ourselves out to be better than others to help other sinners see the light. It is much easier and better, Paul is saying, to explain that we all come from the same dark place, some of us darker places than others, but that only serves to make the light look even brighter when we find it.
Personification: Humility (Gentleness) – An inner strength that permits us to be aware of our own abilities without having to make a show of them. In pointing out that he looks at himself as the foremost sinner, Paul is showing me how to make sure that I am displaying the fruit of humility at all times, especially when I am trying to pass on the Word of God to my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Prayer: Lord, create in me a clean heart to be able to preach your Word this morning with the assurance that it is exactly what I need to be saying and more importantly what my brothers and sisters need to be hearing. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit. Amen.