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Put Your Thinking Cap On

January 1, 2016

The Scripture readings for the second Sunday after Christmas are Psalm 119:97-104; 1 Kings 3:4-15; Ephesians 1:3-14; Luke 2: 40-52.

These texts emphasize God’s infinite wisdom and his willingness to share his wisdom with us. The Psalmist declares his love of the law, and that wisdom and understanding come from meditating on it (Psalm 119: 97-100). God was pleased with Solomon’s request for “an understanding mind [to] discern between good and evil,” and gave him “a wise and discerning mind” (1 Kings 3: 9, 12). Paul praises the plan of redemption and the “riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1: 7). Luke recounts that the young Jesus was “filled with wisdom,” and amazed the teachers in the temple with his “understanding and his answers” (Luke 2: 40, 47).

One insight into these verses is summed up in a Bible note: “True wisdom goes beyond amassing knowledge. It is applying knowledge in a life-changing way.” (Life Application Study Bible, NIV, Zondervan, p.1041).

As a lawyer, I get this. In order to obtain justice for a client, a lawyer must apply the law to the facts. After identifying the issues, the lawyer familiarizes herself with the applicable statutes and the legal literature we call “case law,” applying the law to the facts, to determine how best to assist the client.   The law is a tool used to obtain justice for the client. When faced with a new legal problem or issue, I often tell a client that I need some time to do some legal research or to give the problem some thought. As my mother used to say, I need to “put my thinking cap on.”

In a similar manner, applying the Scriptures to our lives requires us to use our minds—to put our thinking caps on. Scripture is the tool that we use to connect with God and to face life’s challenges. But connecting with God and receiving life-changing help requires us to meditate on Scripture with a “wise and discerning mind,” resting in God’s presence and seeking his guidance. The temple teachers were amazed at Jesus’ “understanding and his answers.” Let God amaze you with his answers and life-changing help. Follow Solomon’s example and ask God for “a wise and discerning mind” when you read and meditate on Scripture. Put your thinking cap on, and be prepared to be amazed.

Diane Cieslikowski Reagan






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