Between the Lines: Easter 7: May 20, 2012

Text: Psalm 1

Psalm 1, Verse 1 and 2 in Biblia Hebraica Stut...

Psalm 1, Verse 1 and 2
in Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Many years ago, the teacher of my sixth-grade Sunday School class made a bargain with her young charges. If we would memorize Psalm 1 and recite it in front of the class, she would give us a special prize- a bookmark, as I recall. We worked hard at the unfamiliar words—the King James Version with its “walkeths” and “standeths” and “sitteths” was the standard of the day. The introduction to this Sunday’s session notes that this Psalm was likely composed as an introduction to the entire book of Psalms. For me, and the other students this teacher had over many years, it served also as a kind of introduction to Christian faith itself. Imagine that you did not know anything about Christianity (or Judaism) and were given this psalm as a summary of the tradition. What does it affirm? What does it assume? What questions might come up for you as you hear it?

– Andy Kille


“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC. BibleWorkbench includes a series of open-ended questions focused on a reading in the Common Lectionary aimed at drawing readers into the story and making connections with the world around them and the world within. Also included are “Between the Lines” reflections, Parallel Readings from literature, poetry, and the news, and Critical Background on the text and its setting. For details and subscription information, go to www.educationalcenter.org.
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