Thursday, October 21, 2010

Christ in the Psalms--Psalm 1

I've undertaken reading Fr. Patrick Reardon's Christ in the Psalms. After his visit to the Omaha area a month ago and hearing the Scriptures really come alive through this man, I was inspired to read one of his books. So I picked up a copy of Christ in the Psalms. I decided that the best way to read it was not to just read it cover to cover but to focus on one psalm every day (no matter how long or how short), read the psalm, read Fr. Reardon's take on it (they are meditations of no more than 1 1/2 pages usually) and then reread the psalm. I will tell you that a whole new world of understanding and praying the psalter has been opened up to me.

As Orthodox Christians, we are privileged and blessed to have such hymnography at our fingertips each day. However, for as much as the psalms are at our ready disposal, we too easily cast them aside for prayers for church fathers (not that the prayers of the fathers of the church are bad or anything) or for nothing at all. The Psalter is the hymnbook of the church. So, let us start treating it that way.

Just who is this "blessed man" of whom the psalmist speaks? It is not man in general. In truth, it really is not simply a "human being." The underlying words, here translated as "man", are emphatically masculine...They are not the Hebrew (adam) and Greek (anthropos) nouns accurate translated as "human being." The "man" of reference here is a particular man. According to the Fathers of the Church, he is the one Mediator between God and man, the Man Jesus Christ. The Law of the Lord, which is to be our delight and meditation day and night, finds its meaning only in Him.--Psalm 1

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