Expressions of God’s Generosity


Pastor Jim Kniseley presented this sermon at Resurrection Lutheran Church, Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Sunday, August 20, 2006.  This is Classical Music Sunday and the first lesson for this 11th Sunday after Pentecost is Proverbs 9:1-6.


Dear Friends in Christ,


We are able to have a Classical Music Sunday here at Resurrection because we have enough interested and talented musicians to step forward and play.  For that we are very grateful. 


In case anyone here mistakenly relates the word “classical” only with us older folks, I am pleased to see the ages of our musicians today! 


Young people, here’s a promise: you will never regret the time you invest in learning to play and read music.  It will stay with you a lifetime.  My 3 brothers and I recently compared notes in a cross-country conference call as to what we were doing these days in the churches we belonged to.  We were pleasantly surprised to find out that three of us are singing in our church choirs, and my brother in California still chants the whole Lutheran liturgy.  Oh would my mother be pleased!


Today I have time to comment on just one of our scripture readings.  I have selected Proverbs 9:1-6. In this passage we are introduced to someone  whose very name conjures up a perception of age. I will call her Lady Wisdom. 


The illustration on the front cover of your bulletin is a good one.  You may think that she is an angel put there for classical music Sunday.  I think she could be Lady Wisdom, for she fits some of the characteristics that the writer of Proverbs describes.  She is a heavenly being, was created by God before the world was created, was present when human beings were formed…


Why was Proverbs written?  The Book of Proverbs was written to be a primer or manual for teaching young people the way to live in harmony with the ways of God.  The writer of the Book of Proverbs gives the noble concept of wisdom a personality.  You have to use your imagination, she doesn’t really exist.  She has something to give us human beings that is very special, insight and an understanding of God’s heart and ways. 


Proverbs was written about 700 years before the birth of Jesus.  We Christians can’t help but hear some very familiar concepts associated with Lady Wisdom.  Today we read that she is throwing a banquet with bread and wine, she wants everyone to come, there is no charge, she wants all that come to have a change of heart and to learn a better way to live…


I hope that some of you will go home to today and read through the Book of Proverbs.  You will find some delightful sayings plus wonderful common sense.


On this Classical Music Sunday, we are reminded that a love of good music is instilled in young people by good role models that give great encouragement. But in order to become good at playing or singing you must practice lots.  Otherwise, you settle for less than you are capable of doing.


I played the oboe in my high school orchestra and persuaded my parents to pay for some private lessons with a man who was first oboe for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  I will never forget the day I was having perhaps my 10th lesson and he said, “did you practice this week?”  I truthfully said, “No, I was too busy with homework and stuff.”  With that, he packed up his oboe and left and never came again to give me lessons.  Amy, please encourage them to practice and please give them another chance when they fail….



Today, we are also reminded that living in harmony with God’s ways is instilled in young people by parents and teachers who are good role models and who give great encouragement.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,” says Proverbs 9:10. 


Here’s the message for all ages today:  living in harmony with God’s ways is also something that takes a lifetime of dedication.   Until the day we die,  we are called to stay wisely connected to the Lord.


Enough then of Theology and Wisdom.  Now,  we are about to sing a Christmas Carol.  This shows that on Classical Music Sunday,  we are not confined by seasons and time…