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Reading:                                            Psalm 1

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the L
ORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction
(NIV).

Reflection

Have you ever noticed the prominent role that trees play in the Bible? The creation account in Genesis begins with God planting two very special trees in the Garden of Eden: the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. After our first parent’s disobedience, we were banned from access the Tree of Life. But the amazing, good news of the Bible is that at the end of the book, in the last chapter of the Book of Revelation, God restores our access to the Tree of Life (Revelations 22:1-5).

2017-05-20

The fresh green leaves of spring — photo by David Kitz

In a very real sense the Bible is a story about trees.

Here in the very first Psalm, the life of the righteous is compared to a fruit-bearing tree, flourishing by streams of water. The psalmist presents a picture of tranquil beauty. Is that a picture of my life? Sometimes I feel more like windblown chaff—rather worthless and lacking a sense of direction.

But that’s where the other tree at the heart of the Bible comes into play. It stands on a hill called Calvary. There my Savior bled and died. There he showed me my true worth. There my sins were washed away, never to be remembered again. That’s where I became righteous, not by works that I had done, but by the grace and forgiveness of Christ.

What a beautiful tree! The tree on Mount Calvary isn’t beautiful because of its leaves. It’s beautiful because of its fruit—the fruit of redemption purchased by the blood of Jesus. My righteousness is solely due to him.

Response: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice. Help me to always remember that you are the true source of my righteousness. At your prompting help me to rid myself of the worthless chaff in my life. Wind of God, blow on me. Water of life, refresh my soul. May I be fruitful, Lord, for you. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you knelt before the tree on Mount Calvary?