Monday, January 02, 2012

Love is the river - on Psalm 1

I (Chris), for almost every year of my education, attended a Christian school.  We were not super wealthy but my folks worked 4 jobs between them because they felt it important we go to a smaller Christian school.  I am grateful for this.  It has added to who I have become and there is not a day that goes by that I don't pull something up from the files of my time in Christian school that is helpful or, at the very least, funny to remember.

Like the film we made for the Fall fair fundraiser called "Fatman and Blobbin" about two overweight crime fighters trying to defeat the evil "Slimfast".  I digress.

Also, Christian school is why you rarely see me in a tie...I wore one as part of my uniform and think that was quite enough.  Ties nowadays are saved for funerals and weddings only and especially those I am officiating.  I did wear a tie to my Mother's funeral because she told me she would haunt me if I did not.

At the beginning of the almost every school year, I was required to memorize the 1st Psalm.  Because of this repetition, as I went to read it today, I realized that the new year has become for me like the first day of school.  It's a resetting, a start over and Psalm 1 just seemed a proper way to begin the year.  I also realized how deeply all those repeat memorizations have imprinted these words of warning, promise and instruction on my mind.

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, nor sits in the seat of mockers nor stands in the path of sinners.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in this law he meditates day and night.

And he will be like a tree, planted by the rivers of waters that brings forth fruit in season.  His leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does will prosper."

I have always wondered how in the world you could meditate on scripture day and night.  And as a kid, I really felt short of the mark in the "delight" area.  Oh yes, I could read and memorize the Bible as a chore or assignment, but who actually delights in this stuff?

But as I was reading today, I realized how to delight in God's law.  Jesus gave us the key.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matt 22:37 - 40

This is a way to wrap our minds and hearts around meditating on God's law, even delighting in it.  All we have to do is think about, ponder, plan and enact love for God and love for others in our day.  To live our days and nights in love is to constantly meditate on God's law.  I have only had small tastes of this but I know that this is a delight.

Picture in your mind a big tree on the banks of a river.  It is serene, healthy, vital and active with life.  There is quiet strength emanating from the roots up through the trunk and out to the branches and leaves.  It is a place where birds and other creatures find shelter and sustenance.  Do you want to be like that?

Then live a life of love.  Love God, love others.  This is God's delightful law.