This year my church began to work on its own church catechism. Our first question and answer is drawn from WSC 1: What is the chief end of man? The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. We also began this year with a brief sermon series on Psalm 1 (“Blessed is the man”) and a Sunday School series on the beatitudes. There is probably no better way to understand the “and to enjoy Him forever” part of WSC 1 than to meditate on what the Scripture teaches about the blessed (‘ashre, makarios) man.
Interestingly, Thomas Watson, who wrote a marvelous exposition of glorifying God as our chief end in his Body of Divinity speaks of beatitude as man’s chief end in his book on the beatitudes. Jonathan Pennnington in his Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing also connects flourishing/blessedness to man’s chief end.
So it should not surprise us when the angelic announcement of Christ’s birth links God’s glory and true human flourishing:
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth shalom among those with whom he is pleased. [Lk. 2:14]