Daily Meditations Published by IT Fellowship of North America & Europe Diocese of Mar Thoma Church
Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
What is a prosperous Family? Psalm 128 Sony Cherukara
St. Stephens MTC, NJ
"Happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways."
An oft cited recent study on prosperity by the Legatum Institute indicated that Scandinavian countries are the most prosperous (top 5) whereas the US came in at number 10 ( India was at 102). These studies looked at a number of measures, many of them related to the physical and emotional well-being of individuals. Whereas there is merit to their findings, the case can be made that American society has distilled the holistic approach to prosperity down to the mere satisfaction of physical desires. This bent to satisfy the ‘desires of the flesh’ has resulted in a number of ideas wholly endorsed by a number of Christians who are unwilling to stand counter to the tide of ‘popular religion’. The prosperity gospel is a palpable symptom of this phenomenon, one that elevates material wealth over all else.
On the other hand, Christian prosperity as described in Psalm 128 is quite different. It is portrayed as a confluence of spiritual, mental, physical, material, interpersonal, familial and social well-being that is the outcome of an act of worship. The psalm at the outset delineates the ‘fear of the Lord’ as the key to unlock all the other aspects of prosperity. Proverbs9:10further states that the “fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”; wisdom being an integral part of making effective decisions. The logical outgrowth of making wise decisions is that our labor and hard work will be fruitful. Prosperity begins in the individual’s spiritual and material realm with worship.
A family continues to be blessed with the right relationships between its members and fruitfulness in their spheres of influence. Wives are compared to a vine that continues to mature and become fruitful through the years, both in the sense of having children and with nourishing and nurturing them beyond that. Children are compared to healthy olive shoots which eventually develop into hardy trees. They are a blessing to the family as they mature through the initial years under the care of parents and others. A worshipping individual adds to their prosperity by being a blessing to their society and nation. The psalmist indicates that such individuals will continue to see the land prosper not just for their peers but for generations to come.
That is the prosperity that God wants each human being to have; a full experience that encompasses our being, from the physical and spiritual to our family and society. The psalmist presents a simple recipe for a lasting prosperity, one centered on the act of worship.
Dear Lord, help us to worship You in spirit and in truth. Let Your Spirit guide us to a richer relationships with our families and our peers. Let our worship lead us to a wholesome life in You, a prosperous life in Your sight. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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