Psalm 147:12-20 (GW)
 Praise the LORD, Jerusalem! Praise your God, Zion!
 He makes the bars across your gates strong. He blesses the children within you.
 He is the one who brings peace to your borders and satisfies your {hunger} with the finest wheat.
 He is the one who sends his promise throughout the earth. His word travels with great speed.
 He is the one who sends snow like wool and scatters frost like ashes.
 He is the one who throws his hailstones like breadcrumbs. Who can withstand his chilling blast?
 He sends out his word and melts his hailstones. He makes wind blow {and} water flow.
 He speaks his word to Jacob, his laws and judicial decisions to Israel.
 He has done nothing like this for any other nation. The other nations do not know the decisions he has handed down. Hallelujah!

Reflection: For the people of Israel God’s commands were treasures to be valued and enjoyed. The law was not seen as restrictive or destructive. It was a gift that God had given to God’s chosen people as an instrument by which they could share God’s blessing with the world. That’s why in this Psalm, God’s words, God’s commands, are included as part of the blessing of God that God’s people enjoyed. From the Psalmist’s perspective, God had strengthened Israel. God had given them peace and prosperity. God had given them the seasons with their different joys and benefits. But it was all shaped by God’s word. Above all, God’s word was the life that kept the world growing and creating, and God’s word was a blessing that guided and protected God’s people. Tomorrow the set reading is the story of how Jesus, as a twelve-year-old boy, was left in the Temple by his parents. When they finally found him, he was debating God’s word with the teachers of the law. Even as a boy Jesus loved God’s commands, and he didn’t ever do away with them. He simply enabled us to see the spirit, the intent of God’s law, and not get caught up in the letter, which could often be used in ways that contradicted God’s purpose. In his entire life, Jesus proclaimed the way God’s word is able to give life and wholeness to those who follow it.

Today, as you seek to follow this Jesus who loved God’s ways, why not let your life proclaim the blessing of God’s word?

Practice for Today: Our lives are always proclaiming something, whether we are aware of it or not. Whatever we really believe and value, that is what is reflected in our lives, and that is what gets communicated to others. Today, try to be aware of what your life says to those around you, and try to ensure that it proclaims the beauty of God’s ways.

Prayer for Today: May the beauty of your ways be seen in my life, O God