Twentieth Sunday of Pentecost

The Law of the Lord Makes Us Happy

Psalm 1

The psalms are a wonderful collection of songs of praise to God. Most, if not all of them, were written to be sung, rather than read aloud, and some even have notes about which sorts of musical instruments to use to accompany them.

The psalms were probably written by several writers over a period of time; we believe that some of them were written by King David.

They are individual songs: they reflect distinct moods, times, and places, and the writers usually present themselves in one-on-one relationships with God; they speak only for themselves, not for the community. But to some extent, the collection of Psalms was the prayer book and hymn book of the Jewish community, as it still is for us today.

Your class might enjoy Eugene Peterson's translation of Psalm 1 in The Message:

How well God must like you

you don't hang out at Sin Saloon

you don't slink along Dead End Road

you don't go to Smart-Mouth College.

Instead you thrill to God's Word,

you chew on Scripture day and night.

You're a tree replanted in Eden,

bearing fresh fruit every month,

Never dropping a leaf,

always in blossom.

You're not at all like the wicked,

who are mere windblown dust -

Without defense in court,

unfit company for innocent people.

God charts the road you take.

The road they take is Skid Row.


1. When does a happy person think about the ways of God?

[A happy person thinks about them day and night.]

2. What is a happy person like?

[A happy person is like a healthy tree that grows beside a stream.]

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