By Al Mansfield

A good question to ask as we begin a new year is, “What do you delight in? What do I delight in?” When Patti and I got married in 1973, we received a Scripture as our “marriage verse.” We used it in our wedding invitations, the program leaflet for our wedding, and indeed, claimed it for our entire married life. The verse is Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

While we certainly wouldn’t claim that we have fulfilled this verse perfectly, we would say that we have made it our goal and purpose, and honestly tried to “take delight in the Lord.” And we can also say, gratefully, that we have experienced great blessings from the Lord, more than we deserve.

What do you delight in?

I have always loved Psalm 40:8, “To do your will, O Lord, is my delight.” One year early in our marriage, Patti made me a banner for my birthday with this verse. It hung in my office for years until Hurricane Katrina ripped it apart.

We all know that doing God’s will may not always be convenient or pleasant, but if it is truly the Lord’s will, then doing it can be a delight because the Lord is our true delight. Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden light.”

What do you delight in?

We know that Jesus delighted to do the will of the Father. The Letter to the Hebrews tells us that when Jesus came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you have prepared for me; holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight in. Then I said, ‘As is written in the book, I have come to do your will, O God’” (Heb. 10:5-7).

Jesus prayed and taught us to pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven…thy will be done.” In Gethsemane Jesus prayed, “Not my will but your will be done.” Jesus said that his food was to do the Father’s will (John 4:34). Jesus did not seek his own will, but that of the Father (John 5:30). Jesus came down from heaven not to do his own will, but the Father’s (John 6:38).

What do you delight in?

At Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, the verse is, “You have given them Bread from heaven.” And the response is, “Containing in itself all delight.” The Latin word “delectamentum” can also be translated “sweetness,” but the official text uses “delight.” Jesus is our delight. The Bread of heaven contains all our delight. Come, let us adore Him!

So as we enter into 2019, not knowing what it will bring, let us ask again, “What will you delight in this year? What will I delight in?”

Let us take delight in the Lord that he may give us the desires of our hearts. Let us delight to do the will of God. Let us delight in the Bread of heaven that we may have this Bread always.