Psalm 1 from Sing Psalms (Free Church of Scotland)
Blessed is the one who turns away from where the wicked walk, Who does not stand in sinners’ paths or sit with those who mock.
Instead he finds God’s holy law his joy and great delight; He makes the precepts of the LORD his study day and night.
He prospers ever like a tree that’s planted by a stream, And in due season yields its fruit; its leaves are always green.
Not so the wicked! They are like the chaff that’s blown away. They will not stand when judgment comes or with the righteous stay.
It is the LORD who sees and knows the way the righteous go, But those who live an evil life the LORD will overthrow
Each Sunday we are going to look at a Psalm using the excellent metrical version, Sing Psalms, published by the Free Church of Scotland.
Various tunes are suggested for this. Click on each one to hear it. Creator this recording has the congregation singing whilst this recording of the tune Tallis only has the organ playing the tune. This recording of the use of the tune St Peter’s has an older translation of the Psalm.
A few years ago I went on a hot air balloon ride in Egypt. As we rose higher and higher, I was struck by the life giving power of water. All around us, for as far as the eye could see, was barren desert – except for one place: along the River Nile. Here, in the middle of the wilderness, was a true oasis of life that ran hundreds of miles into the distance. It reminded me of Ezekiel’s vision of God’s living water flowing from the Temple and giving life wherever it went (Ezekiel 47). There too, as well as in Revelation 22, we read of fruitfulness and abundance – a fruitfulness that brings healing and hope.
Jesus says, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit…” (John 15:8). God wants us to be fruitful Christians. We have a calling, as individuals and as the church, to be that lush oasis of life in the wilderness. In a dry and weary land, in a land of faithlessness and injustice, each one of us is called to be like a tree planted by a stream that yields its fruit in season.
What might this fruit look like? LICC (licc.org.uk) suggest 6 fruit as part of their Fruitfulness on the Frontline material: modelling godly character, making good work, ministering grace and love, moulding culture, being a mouthpiece for truth and justice, and being a messenger of the Gospel.
I wonder: How might you bear fruit on your frontline today? Where might you bring life, healing and hope?
Father, help me to… model godly character, make good work, minister grace and love, mould culture, be a mouthpiece for truth and justice, and a messenger of the gospel. And to your glory may it be. Amen.
Prayer taken from LICC’s Fruitfulness on the Frontline material.
The Rev’d Matt Stone is the Minister of Herringthorpe URC, Rotherham