Greetings. I wonder if you would consider with me, for just a moment, Psalm 1.
Blessed. And this word, blessed, this first word that appears to us, is not blessing as we would perceive it in our current context. For to be blessed is not just to receive or to have abundantly as it might be assumed if someone were to say, “Well I’ve been blessed today,” or “How are you doing?” “I’m blessed.”
But to be blessed is truly to be in right relationship with God. To be experiencing the ultimate shalom, that says that I am where I need to be with God, and God is in God’s proper place in me.
So, blessed…in [the] right relationship,
is the one who does not stand in the way of sinners,
or sit in the seat of those who scorn.
But her delight is in the law of the Lord.
And in this law she meditates, day and night.
And she will be like a tree.
By rivers of water.
Which brings forth fruit in its season.
How easy it is for us, beloved, to focus on fruit-bearing! To look like love. To talk like peace. To act like patience. But the one whose delight is in the law of God, in the Word of God, in the commands, in the ways, in the gesture of God—these are the blessed ones. The ones who are in right relationship. And they bear fruit in their season because their roots are connected to the source: the river, the ever-flowing fountain, which is Jesus Christ, our beloved one, the Word made flesh.
And so, beloved, in this Lenten season, while we desire in our hearts and souls to bear fruit that will last, according to the command of Jesus to his disciples in the Gospel of John; and while we desire to bear fruit of love, joy, and peace, and all of these other fruits of the Spirit; may we long for the greater gift that promises to bear fruit in us that will last. And that is to be rooted in the word of God, [in] such a way that generations not yet born might look upon us and declare, “These women—they are the blessed ones, in right relationship with God!” For the glory of God. Amen.