Today the daily prayer of the Church begins the cycle of the Psalms yet again with Psalms 1 through 4. In the first Psalm, we read about happiness:
Happy are thosewho 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.
The Psalmist tells us that happiness consists in following God’s will. Those who follow God’s will grow; they become better human beings—they become fuller and fuller human beings. On the other hand, those who follow their own base desires and appetites become less and less human. If you stop and think about this for a moment, you can see the truth in it. Those who abuse others and take advantage of them for their own benefit lose a bit of their humanity; they lose a part of their souls, when they reduce human beings to disposable commodities. Each of us is made in the likeness and image of our Creator, God, so when we treat others as objects, we fail to recognize the reality of that Biblical truth.
Let us pray: O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
17 January 2013: Seaside Seniors at St. Augustine.
21 January 2013: MLK Day at St. Vincent’s House: Noon day prayers and celebration.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Robert Hacker’s mother and family, Lee Runion and Randy Furlong.
Your servant in Christ,
The Rev. Chester J. Makowski+St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550