Today’s readings.. (1 Kings 4), (1 Kings 5), (Jeremiah 31), (Mark 5)
    Let us grasp the sense of the phrase “breadth of mind” which occurs in our 1 Kings reading today.  It is the result of God responding to King Solomon’s request for wisdom.   We read “The LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, ‘Ask what I shall give you’ “ [1 Kings 3 v.5]. He responds, “your servant is in the midst of your people… give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil …” [v.8,9]
    In chapter 4 we are told “and God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east …”  [v.29,30]  Furthermore “his fame was in all the surrounding nations.  He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005” [v.31,32] What a contrast to the froth and bubble of the songs and sayings of today – also the tweeting and twittering of the thoughts of the moment of a multitude of minds!!  If we seek to expand our mind, as we should, and develop genuine “breadth of mind” we must lay the foundation by reading the word of God every day.  Some of it will be initially a struggle to ‘digest’ – but as we compare scripture with scripture, the lessons become increasingly clear and we sense we are developing “breadth of mind” in contrast to the narrowness of so much around us.
    Timothy is told by Paul, “set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity … devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture …” [1 Tim. 4 v.12,13] No one owned their own copies of God’s word, so they assembled to hear them read – today when most have several copies of their own how much use do they really get?
     In his 2nd letter Paul advised Timothy to “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handing the word of truth.  But avoid irreverent babble …” [2 v. 15,16].  That is equally ideal advice for us so that we can develop “breadth of mind” and turn away from irreverent spoken and written words of which our world is so full.  So few are interested in presenting themselves before “God as one approved.”   There is every reason why we all must make that our aim.