First United Presbyterian Church

The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding

Isaiah 11:1-3a

A shoot shall come out from the stock of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3 His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. 

This passage is  understood to be about Jesus, who was a descendant of Jesse, the father of King David. Reading it today, on the Feast of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children, whom we also know as Santa Claus, a more personal lesson came to my mind.

When I was growing up, we loved hearing stories about Santa Claus. He lived at the North Pole and we had books showing what his workshop looked like. He brought trinkets for our stockings from all over the world. He had different customs in different places and we would have new questions each year about those customs.

When we become parents, there is an instant and immediate change in our role through life. We have to be wise, knowledgeable, understanding, and patient. We have to know how to keep a living creature alive and thriving, know why they cry and how to soothe them, know what made them sick and how to make them well. As they get older we have to know why the sky is blue, what makes a worm wiggle, how to explain right from wrong, who was Jesus and how can you know him now?

We might not have the right answers or the wisest answers, but we must have some answers. We must be the spirit of wisdom for our children, however tough that transformation may be.

Where can we get wisdom?

Jesus was and is the true story of Christmas. We can pray for a spirit of wisdom during Advent as we teach our children, and trust God to give us answers for their many questions.

Contributed by Rosie Haden

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