Scripture: Psalm 146
Key verses: (1-2)
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
2 I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Reflection: The first of five Hallelujah Psalms summons us to praise the Lord and praise God our whole lives. It is a psalm of joy and joy that is life-long. It is also a proclamation of where to put our trust, not in possessions but in our Creator.
I worked through a book of lists on my sabbatical. Each list pushed me to think about what made me happy. I think at some point we forget what makes us happy or how to find joy. One list asked, “How can money buy you happiness?” I love the honesty of the question because money can buy some big bouquets of flowers, a good blend of tea, rocking chairs for my front porch, a feast at one of my favorite restaurants with all of my favorite people which all would bring me deep happiness. Possessions do bring us some joy but they do not make us joy-full. The next day, the question was, “When does money not buy happiness? “ I realized joy is not an experience to be consumed but a state of being in the world. Working through the book was an interesting exercise in seeking happiness.
In the psalm, it is said that happiness can be found in God. God who gives food to the hungry and brings justice to the oppressed. God who cares for the most vulnerable in our world. I think we will find that true joy can be found when we strive to be like our creator, living in generosity. Research is showing that people who give experience greater long-term life satisfaction and our bodies respond positively to the virtue of generosity. Maybe it isn’t all that hard. Praise the Lord!
Prayer: God, help me to be more mindful of you. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].