On September 20, Pastor Karen Witt preached on Psalm 1: “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; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They 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. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (NRSV)
The wicked are constantly on the move, always in pursuit of their next scheme. Scoffers are autonomous, self-reliant and self-centered. Their punishment is self-inflicted; they self-destruct.
In contrast, the “happy” delight in God’s law, or “Torah.” They find value and “delight” in connection with God and with fellow believers. They stand together in community, sharing not only one another’s happiness, but also one another’s burdens and pains. They recognize that all they have comes from God, and they share those gifts with others as God moves them.
Karen’s sermon addresses these themes and the motivation of the righteous to be good stewards of God’s gifts. Her thought-provoking sermon is accessible here.