Friday 15 December 2023

A tree planted by the rivers of water

"A tree planted by the rivers of water" (Ps. 1). Takamatsu, Japan. Photo: James Kim

Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds. (Matt. 11.19)

Isaiah 48:17-19

Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you for your own good,
who leads you in the way you should go.
O that you had paid attention to my commandments!
Then your prosperity would have been like a river,
and your success like the waves of the sea;
your offspring would have been like the sand,
and your descendants like its grains;
their name would never be cut off
or destroyed from before me.

Psalm 1

1 Blessed are they who have not walked in the counsel of the ungodly:
   nor followed the way of sinners, nor taken their seat amongst the scornful.
2 But their delight is in the law of the Lord:
   and on that law will they ponder day and night.
3 They are like trees planted beside streams of water:
   that yield their fruit in due season.
4 Their leaves also shall not wither:
   and look, whatever they do, it shall prosper.
5 As for the ungodly, it is not so with them:
   they are like the chaff which the wind scatters.
6 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand up at the judgement:
   nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
7 For the Lord cares for the way of the righteous:
   but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Matthew 11:16-19

'But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market-places and calling to one another,
"We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn."
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, "He has a demon";the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, "Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!" Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.'

Mary's Baby
Shaemas O'Sheel (1886-1954)

Joseph, mild and noble, bent above the straw:
A pale girl, a frail girl, suffering he saw;
"O my Love, my Mary, my bride, I pity thee!"
"Nay, Dear," said Mary, "all is well with me!"
"Baby, my baby, O my babe," she sang.
Suddenly the golden night all with music rang.
Angels leading shepherds, shepherds leading sheep:
The silence of worship broke the mother's sleep.
All the meek and lowly of all the world were there;
Smiling, she showed them that her Child was fair,
"Baby, my baby," kissing Him she said.
Suddenly a flaming star through the heavens sped.
Three old men and weary knelt them side by side,
The world's wealth forswearing, majesty and pride;
Worldly might and wisdom before the Babe bent low:
Weeping, maid Mary said, "I love Him so!"
"Baby, my baby," and the Baby slept.
Suddenly on Calvary all the olives wept.

God of love, Father of all,
the darkness that covered the earth
has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh.
Make us a people of this light.
Keep us faithful to your Word
that we may bring your life to the waiting world.
We ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.
—International Committee on English in the Liturgy.

Psalm 1 – Genevan Psalter 1539, setting by Claude Goudimel, 1564.

"Blessed is the man" (Psalm 1) Composition by Dr David Erb, of New Saint Andrews College and Christ Church, in Moscow, Idaho.