Psalm 1In my recently published book, Progressive Faith and Practice, I explain the initial invention of religion as the attempt of early civilizations to cope with two things: the capricious nature of the universe, and their awareness of their own inevitable death. When humans became self-aware, they attempted to project a personality onto the earth, weather, agriculture, the seas and the skies in order to account for why they did what they did. The earliest of religions did not include a belief in an afterlife but for many, especially in western culture where individualism seemed to be increasingly important, a belief in eternal life was added to western religions and to varying degrees, it has also pollinated some eastern faiths.
1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2 but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
3 They are like trees planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Roger L. Ray, D.Min.