Thursday: Psalm 1-2 & Luke 1:39-80

From David Watts

I’ve only had the joy of walking with friends and relatives as their pregnancies lead to the birth of a wonderful child. Wonder is truly the word that captures seeing friends hold their new baby, a combination of two people you love very dearly yet a person all their own, a new creation. Often times we dream big for our little love ones, saying to them how beautiful, smart or funny they will be, just like their parents. Our wonder at beholding new babies is a taste of the wonder that overwhelms Elizabeth, Mary, and Zechariah in the first chapter of Luke. For the baby inside Mary was not merely a combination of husband and wife, but of man and God. Their songs of praise reveal this boy was not only going to carry the wonder of a new creation as a new baby, but he himself will bring the hope of new creation for all marred by sin through his reign. Mary, Elizabeth, and Zechariah did not need to dream of what Jesus would be, for he was the fulfillment of the prophets in bearing the image of his Father to his people.

Psalm 1 & 2 prime us for such wonder over this child to be born of Mary. I read psalm 1 and think, “You know, it would be great if didn’t scoff with the scoffers, and sin with the sinners, I bet I would be like a fruitful tree.” Similarly I read psalm 2 and long for God to crush my enemies, those people or systems and the demonic forces at work behind them which hurt, tempt, confuse, blame, and ridicule me day in and day out. Our enemies are relentless and our sinfulness is exhausting. Psalm 1 & 2 cast great visions of life under the Lord, yet these visions are simply longings with sinful reality, and there’s nothing more painful than the death of hope. Yet hope is found again in no more appropriate place then a womb, for the great king of Psalm 2, the true man of Psalm 1, the great hope of salvation dwelled inside Mary. Jesus of Nazareth is the messiah. This Lenten season we diligently seek his reign anew in our lives by casting all our sins and fears upon him while setting all our hopes on Easter, where Jesus became the victorious new creation we all desperately need.

I am a beloved child of God and trying to remember that every day. I am almost done with seminary while working as a chaplain and enjoy racquetball, hiking, good food, and good friends.