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Friday, February 3, 2017

Today's Scripture Reading | Psalm 112:1–10

Praise the Lord!
   Happy are those who fear the Lord,
   who greatly delight in his commandments.
Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
   the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
   and their righteousness endures forever.
They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
   they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
   who conduct their affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
   they will be remembered forever.
They are not afraid of evil tidings;
   their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.
Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
   in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
   their righteousness endures forever; their horn is exalted in honor.
The wicked see it and are angry;
   they gnash their teeth and melt away;
   the desire of the wicked comes to nothing. (NRSV)

I remember my father sitting in my living room, his head in his hands, struggling to express some deep feelings to me. This wasn’t his usual style—to have his head in his hands and to express feelings that were intimate. But these were unusual times. He had just recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. His wife, my mother, had died only a year and a half before. It was a terrible time—for him and for us. What he was trying to express was the feeling that, of everything in his life that he had done or experienced, his family was most important to him. His family—my brother, me, our children, and, of course, our mother—was what he treasured most in this world, and he wanted me to know it.

I thought of my dad and his mother, my grandmother, when I read this psalm. They were both ordinary people, with challenges and struggles common to all of us. But phrases in this psalm brought both of them to mind. “They rise in darkness as a light for the upright”; they “conduct their affairs with justice”; their “hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.” I know they both felt as though they were rich in things other than money, as though their homes had been filled with wealth and riches.

We don’t believe in a God who rewards with money and wealth according to level of faith. But I hope that at the end of my life I will feel as though my home had been filled with wealth and riches and that I conducted my affairs with justice, with a heart “firm and secure in the Lord.”

 Who in your life comes to mind when you read this psalm?

Gracious and generous God, you fill our lives with wealth and riches of all kinds. Give us eyes to see what we treasure in life, and lead us in living with hearts that are firm and secure in you and your love. Amen.

Written by Judith L .Watt, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care

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