The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of long ago.
Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth—
when he had not yet made earth and fields,
or the world’s first bits of soil.
When he established the heavens, I was there.
In this snippet from the book of Proverbs, we are hearing the voice of Wisdom personified. At the gate of the town, she cries out to remind those coming and going of the way God has ordered the world. It’s a retelling of the creation story: at the beginning of God’s work was Wisdom. Before all those other good ideas, the mountains taking shape and the springs abounding with water, God’s Wisdom was established. It is foundational, it is personal, and it desires to be known.
I’m reminded of a concept from a mindfulness practice—whether you are meditating or practicing contemplative prayer, there is a way of being still in the present moment and allowing other things to fall away. A helpful image sometimes shared in meditation teachings is the idea that the sky is always present, but our ability to see and experience it may be obstructed by the clouds we are aware of. We don’t make the sky become present or not present, but our practice of stillness may allow us to rest in the faith of what is true and real even when we don’t see it. Clouds will come and go, sometimes taking our attention with them.
As people of faith, what is true and real for us is God: foundational, personal, and desiring to be known.
In this season of sabbatical practices in our congregation, we are delighting in the kinds of experiences and fellowship that are meant to help other things fall away so we may be present to God and one another. Learning about native plants and pollinators, creative cooking classes, an outdoor birding walk with Holy Eucharist—may these speak to us of God’s presence.