Scripture: Psalm 146
Key verses: (5-7)
5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
Reflection: What is happiness? For me, it’s eating and savoring Haagen-Dazs white chocolate raspberry truffle ice-cream. Building Lego towers with my 4-year old niece, and learning about new cultures from friends all over the world. Hiking and talking, really talking, with good, old, friends, and enjoying family beach vacations. Oh, and dancing. Just dancing. Each of these activities makes me think of the smiling yellow face emoji that is a symbol of happiness in our world.
Though this symbol is very different from the Psalter’s description of happiness. “Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God” (vs. 5). It’s a foreshadowing of the beatitudes in Matthew 5, and can also be translated, “Blessed is the person whose help is the God of Jacob.” Blessed are those who trust in the God of creation, the faithful God, and the God of justice. Happy are those who trust in God.
The Psalter reminds us of this blessing and that we are called to trust in God. When I worship, read Scripture, or pray, often my shoulders relax and my mind settles, if just for a moment. These are ways I trust in God; in addition to building towers, learning cultures, and being outdoors, these faithful activities make me happy. I wonder, in today’s world of cell phones and Facebook and Instagram, what does that emoji look like?
Prayer: Dear God, we are grateful for your creation, for your faith in us, and for being a just God. Help us to recognize that trusting you is happiness and a true blessing. Be with us as we seek to trust you more today and every day. Amen.
Author: Amy Speas
[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].