“Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; 2but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. 3They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.” — Psalm 1:1-3
I’ve always liked the image that this psalm uses: “like trees planted by streams of water.” It speaks of drawing deeply from a strength beyond ourselves, and being rooted so strongly that we can grow, adapt, persevere, and bear fruit. The Psalmist’s appreciation for ‘the law’ does not refer to rules and regulations, but to all that God would teach us.
In a world where many stories compete for our attention and our loyalty, we need remember that powerful story of God’s abiding love for us that has sustained God’s people throughout the ages. We need to draw deeply on the witness of those who have shared the wonder of God’s grace and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. We need to share that story so that it becomes deeply ingrained in us, and in our children.
When we are rooted in that stream of God’s love and God’s story, then it can began so show in the things we do and say, or as the psalmist says we can ‘yield fruit in due season.’ However, when we forget, or root ourselves in one of the world’s many false versions of what is important in life, we can find ourselves drying up when troubles come, or uprooted and tossed about in anxiety and fear.
As we gather this month, let us give thanks for the bounty of the earth, but even more for the life-giving streams of God’s story, which will nourish our lives for the days to come.
Pastor John Twiton