The Lectionary texts for Sunday, September 23 include Psalm 1 and Mark 9:30-37.
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Sunday's sermon will be on Psalm 1. How often have you heard sermons on Psalms? I'm guessing that your answer is, "Not often." As I reflect on the sermons I have heard over the years, I can only recall one based on Psalms, other than funeral homilies preached using Psalm 23.
This week, take some time to read over Psalm 1. Read it several times and, if you have a variety of translations at hand, use them to get a wider view of this text. What speaks to you as you meditate on God's Holy Word? If you are a tree planted by streams of water, what kind of tree are you?
The following is a Meditation on Psalm 1 written by Joan Stott. May her words bless you as they blessed me.
Meditation on Psalm 1[i]
My faithful God, how I love the imagery of this Psalm - the first prayer in this ancient Prayer Book – which, through our fellowship with God, helps all who yearn to lead a faithful life to discover the path to follow, and how to walk in the way that lead to holiness and grace. Day and night, I know I can rely on God’s presence as I try to respond to the Holy One, who created me to be only me, and not anyone else! This means that I do not have to try to be different to that which I am already, and to rejoice that my deep roots are stretching down into God’s blessedness, and that the fruits of my God-given gifts and graces are developing through God’s love for me.
Creative pause: I am who God made me, and no one else.
I find my greatest delights in serving my God, with my over-gown of fresh green leaves sparkling in the sunshine of God’s love; and despite the winds of change and trouble, these leaves do not wither or fall off; because of the nurturing strength that is given to them, because of the deep roots that are nourished by the flowing waters of God’s Spirit. This nurturing strength sets for me a path of right living, just as long as I remain connected to these gracious and supportive gifts from God.
Creative pause: I delight in the strong roots and green leaves God has given me.
O God, my prayers are for those people who choose not to follow the paths of right living, and who never seem to find in life what they are yearning and searching for. Do they realize what they are missing out on in life by ignoring God’s claims on their life? Don’t they understand that God’s paths lead to Life in all its fullness, giving creative growth and purpose for living? Don’t they know that rejection of those paths lead to death? Don’t they recognize that without God traveling with them, that life has little purpose or meaning when God is shut out of their commitments? O God, may the reality of your love grow in them, and so meet all their needs.
Creative pause: I pray for the people who turn their back on God.
As always, I look forward to seeing you this Sunday. May God bless you on your journey.