This week we begin reading the Wisdom of Ben Sira (also known in Greek as Sirach). deSilva notes, “…Ben Sira left behind a valuable body of reflections on providence and free will, prayer, temptation, forgiveness, and almsgiving, as well as the practical advice on how to succeed in ‘society’ that his students expected.” (p. 23) He also had poorer than average attitudes at the time toward women; viewing them as objects (“a liability to a man’s honor and peace of mind” p.24), rather than subjects in their own right.
We’re reading Phillips Theological Seminary’s Advent devotional for our prayer time this advent. We’re already at Week 4, Love. How did we get here? Do we have love in our hearts? With the rush that inevitably surrounds much of Advent for many of us, how possible is it to get to a place of love? I am consistently challenged to remember that love is more about action than feeling. Of the Magnificat, Lisa Davison reminds us, “Mary sang her song, and the world changed. Will we follow her example, realizing that speaking God’s just love into an unjust world is dangerous? If we do this, lives will be turned upside down, including our own.”
How do you speak and show God’s love in the world?
This week we begin Part 2, “Managing Your Time,” Chapter 2, “How Successful People View (and Use) Time,” of The Lifelong Activist. The key insight for me: “…successful people control their time, while unsuccessful people let others control their time for them.”
Do you control your time or let others control your time for you?
Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world! What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.
- “‘Apocrypha’ in the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary, Abridged Edition.” Bible Odyssey, 2009. http://www.bibleodyssey.org/HarperCollinsBibleDictionary/a/apocrypha.
- Breed, Brennan. “Bible Basics: How Was the Bible Written and Transmitted?” Bible Odyssey, n.d. http://www.bibleodyssey.org/tools/bible-basics/how-was-the-bible-written-and-transmitted.
- Burnette-Bletsch, Rhonda. “Bible Basics: Why Does the Bible Look the Way It Does?” Bible Odyssey, n.d. http://www.bibleodyssey.org/en/tools/bible-basics/why-does-the-bible-look-the-way-it-does.
- Crenshaw, James L. “The Book of Sirach” in The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary; Volume VI: Esther; Additions to Esther; Tobit; Judith; 1 & 2 Maccabees; Book of Wisdom; Sirach; Introduction to Apocalyptic Literature; Daniel; Additions to Daniel. Abingdon Press, 2015.
- deSilva, David. The Apocrypha. Core Biblical Studies. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2012. Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
- Rettig, Hillary. The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006.
- Rettig, Hillary. “How Successful People View (and Use) Time” in The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006. http://lifelongactivist.com/part-ii-managing-your-time/2-how-successful-people-view-and-use-time/
- Thomas, John L. “Joy for the Whole World” in 2018 Advent Devotional. Tulsa: Phillips Seminary, 2018. http://ptstulsa.edu/Advent2018
- Tunseth, Scott. “Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach” The Peoples’ Companion to the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2010.