Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Christ is Risen!!!
At every Great Vespers service in the Holy Orthodox Church, following the Great Litany there is a reading from the Book of Psalms. In such services, typically this manifests as singing phrases from Psalm 1:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked.
BLESSED (Hebrew 'esher'): It is a statement that the one who is being spoken of will find happiness in following the path outlined.
WALKS (Hebrew 'halak'): Carries the meaning of going along with, a definition of behavior.
COUNSEL (Hebrew 'esa'): Following the advice of one.
WICKED (Hebrew 'rasha'): Ungodly, morally wrong or corrupt, one who is condemned.
A very short phrase, but filled with wisdom as a rule to which the Lord's faithful should at all costs attempt to follow.
This is one fraction (about one third) of the full verse of Psalm 1:1. It is filled with such depth of teaching that it dare not be ignored. And yet, we the "faithful" attend Divine Services and all too often let such richness pass us by. We hear it with our ears, but don't allow it to register in our hearts. We sing it with our lips, but do not profess it from the depths of our spirits. I say this to you as a priest, who all too often does not allow these (and so many other) words to register that I confess this shortcoming regularly!
If we allow a phrase as important as this one to be overlooked, how much additional depth of wisdom are we (I) missing as we come for Divine Services?
Psalm 111:10 teaches, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
FEAR (Hebrew 'yira'): Moral reverence.
BEGINNING (Hebrew 'reshit'): First in place, time, order of rank - the 'principal thing'.
WISDOM (Hebrew 'hokma'): Skilled or skillful.
It would seem prudent for us, if we are to attempt to follow the precepts of our faith, to observe 'rules to live by', we should put in first place the perspective of being morally reverent and applying all of the skill that God has gifted to us to walk where He (our Lord) has already led - walking the path of not just the godly, but of God Himself!
Indeed, He is Risen!!!