December 23, 2023

Wisdom From Heaven

James 3:13-18

The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

—  James 3:17

Five years ago the congregation of Roseland Christian Ministries gathered to worship with a partner church in a suburb of Chicago. A couple from Roseland arrived 45 minutes early at the partner church. The driver was nervous that if they were late, they would perpetuate a negative racial stereotype. So they arrived early, sat in their car, read the Bible, and drank coffee, with no music playing.

Before long, police squad cars showed up. They had received a call reporting a disturbance in the parking lot. The police unclipped their holstered guns and told the driver of the car that he was on private property. Soon the car was searched. Members from the host church began to arrive for worship as the officers finished searching the car. The police departed since nothing illegal was happening—just a black couple going to church in a white neighborhood.

I have a long way to go when it comes to issues about race; maybe you do too. What are the places in our hearts, society, and structures that need to be examined? In each of us and in the communities we serve, the wisdom from heaven is needed to form us into more “peace-loving, considerate . . . impartial,” and less fearful people. May we have the humility and strength to allow God’s wisdom to shape us and do his will on earth as it is done in heaven.

Lord, may your wisdom dwell in us, take away fear, and give us fruits of mercy, peace, and goodness. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Joe Huizenga

Joe Huizenga serves as pastor and executive director of Roseland Christian Ministries in Chicago, Illinois. He and his wife, Cate, have four children.

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