Readings:  Proverbs 31:10-31 and John 21:1-25

 Proverbs 31:10: An excellent wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.

John 21:10-12: Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”  So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them.  And although there were so many, the net was not torn.  Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”  Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.

 

“Happy Anniversary”

Forty-three years ago, my wife and I were married.  We still are.  This anniversary day is held ‘in remembrance’ of when we spoke our vows of wedded love and faithfulness to each other.  By God’s grace, until death us do part, we will continue to live together and love each other in sickness and in health; in poverty and wealth.  

It’s timely that the last portion of Proverbs is appointed for this very day, our anniversary.  For us!  But all Scripture is breathed and inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).  And whatever God speaks, it will not return to Him void, but will accomplish the very will of God from heaven as it is done on earth (Isaiah 55:10-11).

What does an excellent wife do?   Perhaps we need to understand a little of how the ancient Jews received this text and how we as Christians apply it.  King Lemuel is reportedly the author of this last part of the book of Proverbs.  Whether or not he actually composed it is still in debate.  But we know all Scripture is breathed by God as previously mentioned, so these words come from God.  How does He paint the picture of the ideal woman?  

Recall that much of Proverbs is about wisdom.  Let’s consider that the ideal woman, the excellent wife, is one who personifies that Wisdom!  This wouldn’t be just for women today but for men as well to take Wisdom’s lessons to heart and live by that Wisdom in our day-to-day life. 

We see how women and men can model the ways of prudence.  Recall the premise of this book.  After the few verses of introduction, we hear this verse:  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” (Proverbs 1:7).  Now in these last verses we come to how that knowledge—that Wisdom from above—can be applied.  God knew how to assemble the writings of holy writ to serve His eternal purpose.

One of the traits of Wisdom is how she “rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household” (Proverbs 31:15).  Do we not see Jesus do this as our Wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:24) as He prepared a delicious fish breakfast for His disciples?  Then, being wise, He also invites them to add their catch of fish, the 153 of them, to this meal, reminding them of how He would take two small fish along with the five loaves of bread, and multiply it for the 5,000+ people and feed them.

We are part of God’s household of faith. We are blessed to know Wisdom, and that Wisdom is Jesus who also prepares that meal for us, “on the night in which He was betrayed…” and having worked in the darkness of time now provides the meal of His body and blood, thus restoring us to His flock and family.  

While wedding anniversaries are celebrated but once a year, the reunion and restoration into God’s family comes every time we hear Jesus’ words of forgiveness, life, and salvation.  We do this ‘in remembrance’ of Him who died and was raised, just as we send our anniversary greetings.  

 

Let us pray:  O God, our dwelling place in all generations, look with favor upon the homes of our land.  Embrace husbands and wives, parents and children, in the arms of Your love, and grant that each, in reverence for Christ, fulfill the duties You have given.  Bless our homes that they may ever be a shelter for the defenseless, a fortress for the tempted, a resting place for the weary, and a foretaste of our eternal home with You.  May our homes be blessed by Your Holy Spirit to be places where we learn of heavenly Wisdom.  Grant peace in our land, guard our boundaries, heal the sick, bless the dying, and grant courage to all who are challenged in faith; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

 Our Father…

The grace of the Lord + Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you.  Amen.