Stay blessed

Psalm 1
For twenty years, I’ve closed all my emails with “stay blessed.” That’s also how I end every daily devotional.

I even sneak in a quick benediction. When I’m done babbling, I say, “Stay blessed…john.” Ellipsis points normally indicate a pause in thought. I use the three dots to offer a final blessing in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I started that when I internalized Psalm 1. It’s my favorite. All the emotions the psalms allow us to express begin here. It frames how we pursue God with our lives as we read any part of scripture. We’re either delighting in the law of the Lord or not. The NRSV calls us happy when we do. I first heard Psalm 1 call us blessed when we do.

And that’s where the emails came in.

Psalm 1 offers us a clear vision of what it means to be blessed. It’s our willingness to know God’s word. But why?

Let me reuse an illustration. It hasn’t been that long since I talked about Wordle, the online word puzzle. Less than one hundred people played when it debuted. Its popularity has grown in only a few months. So much so, The New York Times bought the game for seven figures. Last year, a study shared that nearly half of its respondents used their phone five to six hours a day. Another twenty-plus percent said three to fours hours. In our constant state of connection, a unique aspect captivates Wordle players. It’s that it’s a once-a-day game.

You figure it out or you don’t. Either way, you have to wait until tomorrow to play again. You can spend too much time on your phone, but you can’t do it playing Wordle.

That’s a great way to disengage our digital dependence. But it’s not a good way to approach the Bible. Daily devotionals and quick Bible readings are helpful. But they can lead us to believe the point of reading the Bible is just to read it.

There’s nothing wrong with reading the Bible, of course. Notice, though, the blessing of Psalm 1 isn’t reading the Bible. It’s delighting and meditating on it day and night. That begins with reading, but it doesn’t end there.

We read to fill our minds and souls with the wisdom of God. And so we reflect on what we read all day. Reading a passage of scripture isn’t merely a nice way to start or finish your day. It’s a blessed way to fill your day. According to the psalmist, we’re blessed if we reflect on God’s word all day.

So, stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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