1 Kings 3:4–15—In the tale of Aladdin’s lamp, Aladdin desires and receives great riches from the genie in the lamp. If you could have anything your heart desired, what would it be? Power? Wealth? Long life? Solomon humbly asked the LORD for wisdom to rule God’s people well. His request was granted, and Solomon became the wisest man ever to have lived. Because of his altruistically wise request, the LORD also gave Solomon what he did not ask for: great riches and honor, far beyond any other king.
The Old year as vast and strange and challenging as it has been is quickly coming to a close. What will befall us in the New Year of 2021? Only the Lord knows for sure. But this we can be assured the Lord will continue to order our days and direct our path. All the LORD requires of us is to trust him. As Solomon asked for wisdom, patience and strength so the LORD will direct each step we take.
The events of this past year remind us we are living outside of Eden. Yet we do not lose heart. St. Paul would remind us, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.” - 2 Corinthians 4:8-11
We do not lose heart because we really don’t belong here. 0ur eternal Home! In this coming year there will be baptisms and there will be funerals. Infants will be welcomed into the family called the Church. Dear saints will hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” We pray in the Te Deum “May we numbered with Thy saints, in glory everlasting.” The old song sings, “Soon and very soon, we shall see the King.” And yes! We will.
We can benefit from Solomon’s wisdom in the books of Ecclesiastes and Proverbs. We can benefit from the wisdom of God in all 66 books of the Holy Bible.Heavenly Father, You have called us to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown... give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us.
 Collect for Divine Guidance, Lutheran Service Book © 2996 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis