But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. (James 3:17, NLT)
This certainly isn’t a bad passage to reflect on as another new year begins to unfold. We hesitate to mention New Year’s resolutions, since it is often the case that their significance is overblown in the extreme, or that the whole concept of making them is lambasted because we have this annoying habit of letting them drop. Whatever you think about them, if you were going to make one, it might be worth it to resolve to seek “the wisdom from above”. Our world, after all, could use more peace and gentleness and forbearance and mercy and goodness and sincerity. That bit about seeking is important, because we’ve yet to meet anyone who is able to invent wisdom out of whole cloth. Wisdom is given, not created, and the wisdom from above comes to us as a gift from the God who became flesh and dwelt among us in Christ. As you look ahead to this next year, might we suggest that this prayer (or something similar) might be appropriate?
God Almighty, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: Grant us, we pray, to be grounded and settled in your truth by the coming of your Holy Spirit into our hearts. That which we know not, reveal; that which is wanting in us, fill up; that which we know, confirm; and keep us blameless in your service; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. (From Evangelical Lutheran Worship, p. 86)
– The Editors