Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
EDUCATION FOUNDED ON THE FEAR OF THE LORD
Proverbs 4: 1-19
Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers.(Verses 13,14)
The Hebrew word for wisdom hokma shares a wide range of meaning. “Wisdom is the ability to cope, the art of steering; it is practical knowledge of the laws of life and of the world, based on experience”. The passage for our meditation in Proverbs gives the parental exhortations for a meaningful life. The parent’s words are not the divine words. But they are faithful reflections of it and are thus a means of life. Wisdom fosters life. So it prevents the threats of life and it prevents the negation of life. It declares the celebration of life for all. The negation of wisdom is the path of the wicked that leads us to death. Wisdom thus provides life and rejects death. Fear of the Lord is not just respecting the wisdom-the Law-the covenant; rather practicing it in the daily experiences of life. It is here wisdom becomes a community event.
Education is to be founded on this understanding of wisdom. Of late, education has become just information that does not foster our re-formation but only de-formation. In this context, I would like to share three aspects of wisdom.
Education as Knowing God: In the scriptural tradition of Israelites, God is not a rhetorical object; rather an embodied experience of liberation. It is a God of life who defeats the idols of death. Knowing God means embodying a liberative habitus. It is a life of listening, following and practicing experience of divine justice, freedom and peace.
Education as knowing oneself: Knowing God is not separated from the self understanding. Revelation of God, in biblical tradition, results the revelation of self. Realizing the human self as the divine self is the theological content of epiphany. Education today must lead us to new epiphanies.
Education as knowing the surroundings: Knowing God and the realizing self result the newer understanding of the social existence. Self is to be divine and thus communitarian. Practicing justice and re-imaging social relations are the result of fearing God and knowing God.
In the present day context where we are caught up in the grip of global-economic, colonial and oppressive structures- thinking and talking of this kind of wisdom is not a process of persuasion but a call to conversion. We are in a constant need of divine wisdom, which will enable our minds to think in new ways. The wisdom of God inspires hope for humanity and it gives true life. May God help us to grow in wisdom and transform the society for God’s glory.
Prayer: God of wisdom, lead us to justice and peace. Amen
Rev.Nebu Skariah, .Vicar, CSI Church, Seaford, New York