Our reading this week tells of the wisdom that God gives Solomon, the son of David and new King of the people of Israel. The event that happens following the declaration of God to Solomon regarding his request for wisdom and also gives us an example of the wisdom that Solomon has received. This is an amazing story of two women fighting over the ownership of a child.
From the story we are given we learn that what matters more than technicalities of ownership, or indeed genetics, is the nature and focus of love. Love enhances the wisdom given and the justice sought. We learn that love is at the heart of justice. The quality and depth of a person’s love is the measure of good justice; the integrity and depth of love and whether love’s values lie at the heart of an organisation’s work or a court of justice’s business is the fundamental measure of integrity.
Solomon’s emphasis on love meant that no matter that the two women were prostitutes, he chose to preside sensitively despite the fact that others would dismiss the matter as beneath them given the class distinctions of the time. God’s justice is for everyone. Everyone deserves to be treated justly. Solomon believed that. God dictates that, both then and now.
We also stop this week and remember those who have gone before us. We remember the love that they have given and shown us, the lives that they have lived and the loss we still feel around their absence. This recognition and remembering shows us the centrality of love in our relationships and how that love can impact us all so profoundly in our living.
The names we will say aloud are names of loss from the last 12 months, but the loss of a loved one lasts longer than just 12 months. Our lighting of candles for all whom we have lost is an important part of that remembering, that shared loved, the relationships we have and the wisdom of God that works through all of our lives.
As children of God, we are reminded that God is a part of all our lives, caring, holding and inspiring us continually.