12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
I once kept chickens. I don’t know if you know, but chickens like to huddle together at night to keep warm, especially during winter nights. So one long winter’s night, one of my chickens (for some inexplicable reason) decided to stay outside the coop, and froze to death!
The reason for my rather macabre story is that it is sometimes a picture of people’s spiritual lives. Have you ever known someone to leave their community group or church because of some silly offence, or because they got overlooked for some minor role they wanted? Maybe there was no reason at all, but they left and soon after they found themselves out in the cold, out of touch or out of place.
The writer of psalm 92 encouraged us to be righteous and to be planted in the House of the Lord. In modern language, we might say we may believe in and follow Jesus and are a part of a stable loving church family.
We cannot disconnect our faith in Jesus from our activity in church. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews encourages us to not forsake or neglect the meeting with one another so that we may encourage and urge each other on towards doing good things in our world. We may find we can achieve a lot on our own, but I’m willing to bet my life that we can get more done together.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. Adam Smith
The church has many faults, much like any family does, but that does not mean that we should not turn up to our weekly gatherings to worship our good God; To dream, plan and activate a better future for our own families but also those in the wider community. We can achieve this by being the hands, the feet and the mouthpieces of God’s grace, mercy and love. The result of this will be a flourishing in our own hearts for many years to come.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Let us rise up together this New Year, make a bigger difference and flourish.