On of the things I’m about this year in my reading is working through the Apocrypha, paying special attention to the book of Sirach (aka: Ecclesiasticus). More and more so each year, Sirach becomes one of my favorite writings. It’s not a book for quick reading. To truly appreciate what’s being said in it, you must read it slowly and repeatedly, with reflection.
Following are five of the statements that have jumped out at me in my reading of Sirach this time through. Put them in your head and let them steep a bit.
“My child, if you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for testing.” (Sirach 2.1)
“… conduct your affairs with gentleness, and you will be loved more than a person of good repute.” (Sirach 3.17)
“Don’t deprive a poor person’s life, and don’t avoid looking the needy in the eyes. … Listen to the poor, and reply with peaceful and gentle speech.” (Sirach 4.1,8)
“Don’t lower yourself before a fool, and don’t show partiality toward the powerful. Fight to the death on behalf of truth, and the Lord God will fight for you.” (Sirach 4.27-28)
“Don’t be preoccupied with your money, and don’t say, ‘I’m self-sufficient.'” (Sirach 5.1)