Reflecting on Psalm 1

The Psalter begins with a promise of blessing, the kind of blessing found in the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed is the one who does not take allegiance with the vicious, or go in the wrongful direction of sinners, or join in with those who make a mockery of God. These are ways of departure from God, ways of conformity to this world, accepting its advice, being a party to its ways, and adopting the most fatal of its attitudes. Because there is a better way to live! The law of the Lord stands opposed to the “counsel of the wicked.” Whatever shapes our thinking shapes our life.  

It is impossible to insulate ourselves from the bombardment of worldly counsel, constant exposure to the sins of world, outright lies and conspiracy theories, corruption, and whole systems of society that operate without the recognition of God’s will. The shadow side of technology is its constant invasion into every corner of our lives, giving not only good but evil a wide platform on which to operate. In our post-modern world where truth is evasive, we can easily end up identifying with a group of others who think, feel, and act as we do without ever asking “what would Jesus do?”  

Jesus did not isolate himself from those caught up in sin, or from a corrupt world. We too, are called to serve in the world. To think we can keep ourselves from being exposed to worldly ways would be extremely difficult. So how do we discern truth and lead a Godly life? We need powerful tools and we have been given them!   

God’s law or (Hebrew: Torah) means ‘direction’ or ‘instruction’ which can be confined to a single command or extend, as here, to the whole of Scripture and is a sure defense. As we look to the New Testament, we can see that we also receive direction from the ‘living water’ offered by Jesus to the woman at the well. To meditate is to think hard about the ‘worldly counsel’ we are receiving and ask the Holy Spirit to be our guide as we seek God’s counsel in Scripture. Planted by living water, we grow in Godly wisdom and will not ‘wither’ and follow the devious ways that lead to destruction. Our blessing is to prosper in producing good fruit and a life worth living.  

~Reflection by Deacon Peggy Murray

Donald Nwankwo
Rector, The Light of Christ Church