Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany
Feb 13, 2022
Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked,
nor lingered in the way of sinners,
nor sat in the seats of the scornful!
Their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on this law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees planted by streams of water,
bearing fruit in due season,
with leaves that do not wither;
everything they do shall prosper.
It is not so with the wicked;
they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when judgement comes,
nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked is doomed.
Something to Do
Trees planted by streams of water
Ottawa’s trees in February do not look the way I imagine the psalmist’s trees looked. Even the ones planted by the water are barren and cold. Yet we know that they will bear fruit in due season.
Sketch a tree with no leaves. Then, prayerfully, add the leaves.
Their delight is the law of the Lord
The whole of the law is summarized in the two great commandments:
Love God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength.
Love your neighbour as yourself.
Sit quietly and hold this law in your thoughts “day and night”.
Something to Wonder
The Righteous and the Wicked
As we sit in the midst of political unrest, these words feel very powerful. I want to name who is wicked and who is righteous – but I know others are doing the same and reaching different conclusions.
How does the psalm suggest evaluating righteousness and wickedness?
How do you understand the psalmist’s assertion that the work of the righteous will prosper but the way of the wicked is doomed?
Happy are they…
Be honest (at least with yourself and with God). Have you ever walked in the counsel of the wicked or lingered in the way of sinners or sat in the seat of the scornful?
What are the signs, for you? How can you course correct when you find yourself on the wrong path?
Something to Learn
Understanding “the righteous”
The Hebrew word translated as “the righteous” is a rich and complicated word, containing ideas of justice, compassion, and rightness.
Learn a little more in the essays by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Rabbi Toba Spitzer.
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.