“Happy are your people! Happy are these your servants, who continually attend you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the Lord your God.” – 2 Chronicles 9:7-8
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: 2 Chronicles 6-9, Proverbs 15
What does it mean to be happy? It seems I have had some time on my hands recently to contemplate these deeply philosophical questions (I’ll bet every family wishes they could shelter in place with your own resident theologian).
In this scripture passage today, we read about Queen Sheba’s visit to Solomon where she offers this blessing upon meeting him and engaging with him. Theblessing speaks to Solomon’s wisdom and to God’s anointing of Solomon as the king of Israel.
When we read in the Bible, “Blessed are…,” we usually understand thetranslation of the word for blessed to also be the word used for happy. One of the more common occurrences we see this word is in the Beatitudes. Imagine these teachings of Jesus (found in Matthew 5:3-10) substituting the word happy instead of blessed:
Happy are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Happy are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Happy are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Happy are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Happy are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Happy are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Happy are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is thekingdom of heaven.
It may not seem like the definition of happiness you would find in a Hallmark card, but it the happiness that God wants for each of us. Genuine happiness comes from living the life that God wants for us, seeking God’s wisdom, and living in justice and righteousness. Every aspect of salvation brings us to this fulfillment.
This Sunday, our staff will be observing a Sabbatical Sunday for a time of renewal and rest. I have been proud of our staff who have worked hard to ensure that we stay connected during this COVID-19 pandemic, and I have seen many of them go above and beyond what we have asked of them. With the blessing of our Leadership Team, we have given our staff some time off next week to rest. This will also be a time for renewal as we prepare for theeventual reopening of our church campus. We will still have a virtual worship service on Sunday that will include some archived videos of our band and choir. We will also have a special message for you from our District Superintendent (and former pastor), Dr. Brian Clark. I am thrilled that Brian will have one last time to be with us in worship before he and his family begin a new season of ministry at Dalton First UMC this June. I know that his message will be ablessing to you this week.
Please continue to be in prayer for our staff as they recharge their batteries and refresh their souls. I am proud of them and I consider it a great joy to be in ministry with each of them at this AMAZING church! Have a great weekend and stay safe! I look forward to being with you in worship on Sunday at 10:15 and 5 PM.
Grace and peace,
P.S. This past weekend, we began broadcasting our worship services on Facebook as well as YouTube. Now you can engage with us in worship on YouTube at 10:15 AM and Facebook Live at 5:00 PM. You can also listen to thesermon on WLOV 100.3 in Royston at 1 PM on Sunday afternoons. What is your favorite time to worship? I’d love to hear from you.