Psalm 1 begins, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Sometimes, it’s hard to picture ourselves as that man (or woman) because… well, we’re sinners. That’s all it takes for us to say that we are not blessed like the man in this Psalm. We’ve fallen too far, we say. We’ve committed sins that the Psalm 1 man would never commit because he is always delighting in and meditating on God’s Law. And then we read the last part of the Psalm:
“Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous: for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish” (verses 5-6).
And we think, we’re done for. We won’t stand in the judgment. We won’t be in the congregation of the righteous. We’ve sinned, we’re wicked, we’re out.
It’s hard to picture us as the Psalm 1 man, but it’s not impossible. We can look to a few things to remind us that we can never fall too far for God to hear us. First, every Sunday morning, we confess our sins and are forgiven. That’s it. We’re not only forgiven for some sins, or only forgiven for the not-so-bad ones. We’re forgiven, period. Second, the pastor makes the sign of the cross over us, the same sign we received on the day of our baptisms. This is a reminder that we are redeemed; the old is gone, the new is come. And lastly, we receive Jesus’s body and blood in the bread and wine of Communion. We are given his grace and reminded of the sacrifice he made to save us.
With those things in mind – our forgiveness, our baptisms, and Jesus’s sacrifice – we can picture ourselves as the man in Psalm 1. We can see ourselves as God does: forgiven, redeemed, new. We can delight in the law of the Lord, for it was Jesus’s fulfilment of the Law that saved us. And we can rest assured that we will stand in the judgment and be in the congregation of the righteous.