Sunday, December 04, 2016

Prayer for Wisdom on Peace Sunday (Advent 2A) - Psalm 72



















Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Give the king your justice, O God,
    and your righteousness to a king’s son.
May he judge your people with righteousness,
    and your poor with justice.
May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
    and the hills, in righteousness.
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
    give deliverance to the needy,
    and crush the oppressor.
May he live while the sun endures,
    and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
    like showers that water the earth.
In his days may righteousness flourish
    and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
    who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
    may his glory fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.




I am not preaching today. The choir is sharing the message in music (I'm narrating the cantata). Since I've already written a reflection on Isaiah 11, the first reading from scripture, I thought I would share this reading from Psalm 72, which is the appropriate Psalm for the Second Sunday of Advent.  Considering everything going on in this nation, it seems like an appropriate reading. The Psalmist prays that the king would receive God's justice, so that he might judge the people, especially the poor, with justice. By judgment we don't mean something akin to the American justice system, where the poor often receive the short end of the law. The request is that the ruler will deal with those on the margins in such a way as to lift them up. Indeed, the prayer is that the ruler will deliver the needy and crush the oppressor.

I'm not very confident that the "rulers" of America, especially those coming into power, will respond positively to this calling. However, I must put my trust in God, praying that the vision of justice outlined here might come to fruition. We also need to remember that prayer isn't just something we do in the closet or in the church. Prayer puts us in a position receive God's wisdom and call to justice. So, let us give thanks to God that God has chosen to be present with God's creation. That is, God's glory will "fill the whole earth." That is a vision worthy of Peace Sunday!

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