Last year I spent the summer reading C.S. Lewis’s books. You can see my thoughts on these books here.
This year, I thought I would turn to one of my favorite places in scripture, the Psalms, and share some of them with you in a devotional framework. Each Friday I will present one psalm along with my thoughts on it and a picture or two that speak to me.
The Psalms have been used as devotional literature since they were first written or sung by the earliest believers. Some of you who know me know that I am enamored with the idea of monks or cloistered communities. I am drawn to the idea of a life spent reading or copying holy texts.
Even the daily observation of the Liturgy of the Hours appeals to me, although how to make it fit into modern day life as a busy wife, mother, employee, etc. escapes me. The idea of pausing throughout the day to pray and to dip into scripture, to remind yourself of God’s presence, is so attractive and elusive. The Liturgy of the Hours relies heavily on the Psalms, often repeating the same Psalms daily, or weekly, or monthly, marking the cycles of time.
But I digress. I will not overload my reader or myself, but will simply look at one psalm per week, for the next 10-12 weeks. Let’s see where that takes us. To God be the glory……
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Look at the photo. Plants fed by flowing water which tumbles over rocks shaped by time. This is creation as God made it to be: full of lush movement. Psalm 1 opens with a warning for us not to become stagnant in the presence of sinners, not to walk alongside, not to stand in conversation, or sit in fellowship, lest we lose sight of the Lord’s ways. Instead we are to plant ourselves next to the streams of living water and send down deep roots. In such a position we will withstand the storms of life that carry away the wicked.
Psalm 1 echos Jeremiah 17:7-8: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
How do we plant ourselves by the water? By spending time with God in reading, prayer, meditation and in fellowship. This week, take some time to sip from the living water. Pray for others and for yourself. Sit at the feet of Jesus and contemplate what He has done for you. Take your Bible to a nearby tree and rest under its shade and fill yourself to the brim with the word. And then prepare yourself for a harvest of fruit.
I hope you will join me on this journey through the Summer of Psalms. See you next week.