Verses for The Great Fifty Days
Day 42 in Easter
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
….whose hope is in the Lord their God.
I have no idea what the story is behind this photograph of colorful umbrellas; I just know that it makes me smile and the verse from this psalm speaks of happiness.
There are other photographs that bring a similar mix of warmth, peace, contentedness and pleasure. This, for example, evokes such feelings with the simple pleasure of flying a kite among a meadow of wildflowers:
It is valuable to remember where such happiness begins: in God who is our help and our hope.
We don’t fly kites when work and sorrows haunt us. We don’t play with umbrellas when anxieties and fears prevail. To say that God is our help and hope is not to minimize our fears and sorrows – but it does put them in some perspective.
Other translations use ‘blessed’ instead of ‘happy’. ‘Happy’ doesn’t really catch the nuance of the Hebrew term that speaks more of being at peace with God and our neighbors. It is that sensation that things are as they should be. It is tied to the notion of fidelity to God and others; love of God and neighbor. Something that can be true no matter the stresses of our time.
God is hour help and hope. We dwell in this promise that mercy and kindness shall prevail, God’s reign shall come. The world will blossom again like a meadow of wildflowers. The new creation is already present. We live in the light of the empty tomb. Sin and death will be lifted from the world and are lifted from us even now. A radiant grace and life has come. It is present in the arms of Jesus. It is present in the breath of the Spirit. It is present in the bread and wine. It is present in the songs of the church. It is present in the love and service of those in Christ. It is present wherever sins are forgiven and lives touched with grace and healing.
Where it is present there is joy and song and praise – and a simple and wonderful happiness.
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Photos: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Les_Parapluies_de_Viborg.jpg By W.carter [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_kite_runner_(2).jpg By Armineaghayan [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons