Verses for The Great Fifty Days
Day 39 in Easter
Happy are those [whose] delight is in the law of the Lord…
They are like trees planted by streams of water,
….which yield their fruit in its season.
Modern farming and transportation has changed the notion of seasons. Now you can get fresh tomatoes year round – and things that would never grow in your yard. I appreciate this. I wouldn’t get bananas or blueberries otherwise, let alone coffee or chocolate.
There is a time for the flowers to bud and grow, and a time for the fruit to be ripe. Those who live nearer the land understand this. But if there’s not enough water, the plants turn spindly and few if any tomatoes ripen.
So what is the source of water for a life that is good? What will bring forth compassion and character in us? What will bring forth fidelity and truthfulness? What will bear kindness
Our psalm points us to “the law of the LORD,” not meaning a set of rules, but the rich testimony to justice and mercy we find in the narratives and commands from Genesis through Deuteronomy – indeed through all of scripture. The word ‘law’ (‘Torah’) means more than a legal code; it embraces all God’s teaching. The rules and commandments we find there can’t be disconnected from the account of a good and beautiful world fashioned by a God who blesses – or a world gone awry because our first parents broke faith with the one who entrusted to them his garden. The story of Abraham’s journey, of Jacob’s wrestling with God, of Joseph’s faithfulness, and Israel’s escape from Egypt, are part and parcel of the commandments they encounter at Sinai. The God who provides bread and water in the wilderness is the God who commands food and protections for the poor. The God who frees slaves is the God who commands a day of rest for all.
Those who are nourished by these words bear fruit in their proper time. When justice is called for, justice is done. When compassion is desired, it is ready to be given. When generosity, courage, or faithfulness are needed, the fruit is ready because people have been nourished in the story and enriched by the Spirit of the God who there speaks of his will and way for the world.
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Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blackberries_by_Hanney_Road_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1469378.jpg Steve Daniels / Blackberries by Hanney Road