An Open Table where Love knows no borders

Snapshots of Wisdom

A sermon on Psalm 1; Mark 9:30-37; James 3:13 – 4:3, 4:7-8a; & Proverbs 31:10-31
by Dr Léon van Ommen
Lecturer in Practical Theology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland

There is no written version of this sermon available, but you can watch or listen to it here.

A video recording of the whole service, including this sermon, will is available here.


  1. What a great sermon! Some academics don’t know the difference between writing and presenting an academic paper, and preaching a sermon, but Léon clearly does. This was accessible, engaging, and took the bible readings (all of them!) seriously, without ever getting bogged down in the obscure technicalities that academic theologians are too often drawn to. It was also a new high-point for us in demonstrating the art of presenting to a camera for online preaching. Great stuff. Thanks Léon!

  2. G’day Léon – thank you for your wonderful sermon last night. I can see why your academic field is PRACTICAL Theology!

    I could never understand why Proverbs 31:10-31 was in the Lectionary because to me it seemed so divisive and so oppressive of women. I never included it in worship services I organised or conducted because of my perception of others’ interpretation of that reading.

    Although I can understand why the (patriarchal) compilers of the Bible included Chapter 31 of Proverbs I often wished/hoped that in the 21st century the chapter would somehow disappear or be omitted!!!!!

    However, after your expert and illuminating sermon last night I have a better understanding of its meaning and intent.

    Thank you Léon.

  3. Thank you Léon for your engaging and clear sermon. Your idea of the scripture readings being like a collection of photos was so helpful. I especially appreciated hearing your interpretation of the Proverbs 31 passage. I had not heard this interpretation before and it was life changing for me. I have lived with the burden of feeling like I had to live up to that example even though it was essentially impossible. Understanding that the passage is about ‘woman wisdom’ is life giving.

  4. Thank you Léon for your words to us. I will remember the image of Lady Wisdom in action. (On a completely irrelevant note, it’s good to know that the Dutch also eat humble pie…or is that a cultural translation?! I wonder if our recipes differ…)

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