By Rev. Danielle Knapp
Point Comfort & Lolita UMCs
First, read Psalm 146:6-10
As I read through Psalm 146 I couldn’t help but hear reverberations of Mary’s Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55 (it helps that I’m writing this devotional between the 3rd and 4th Sundays of Advent). Our Psalmist gives one reason after another about why we should praise this Lord, the reasons spill from his lips and we as the hearers can barely keep up with the list of praise.
This Lord (unlike so many other so-called gods) is one who helps his people. This Lord is the creator of everything which exists. This Lord keeps the promises made from one generation to the next. This Lord is the one who sides with the vulnerable and the oppressed, and ensures they receive justice, which doesn’t always happen in the world we experience.
This Lord provides the most basic needs of food for those who are hungry – without judgment or condemnation or questions about why they are hungry. This Lord sets prisoners free; lifts up those who have been trampled on by those in power, watches protectively over the stranger (dare I say the alien, the foreigner, the illegal immigrant), loving tends both the very young and the very old, intervening in their lives to provide all they need.
And ultimately this Lord will allow the wicked to reach the end of their destructive paths – so they cannot harm others any more.
When Jesus began his earthly ministry in Luke 4:16-19, he declared a ministry which would do exactly what our psalmist, what the prophet Isaiah, what his own Mother, had all prayed and prophesied would happen. He worked to begin to establish the kingdom of heaven right in the middle of all the messy, chaos that is our world, by becoming one of us. And for two thousand years the confession of the church has been “Jesus Christ is Lord”!
Such a Lord is the only one who is fit to reign over our world. As Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer our Lord alone can rule this world with Holy Love. Only our God can perfectly balance holiness and mercy, righteousness and justice. And thanks be God, our Lord (what a privilege to be able to address the King of the universe as ‘ours’) our Lord will reign forever. And as yesterday's writer pointed out, this reigning king deserves our lives lived to praise him. Amen and amen!
Discussion/ Reflection Questions:
1. If you were to write your own song of praise to the Lord what would be included in your list?
2. Imagine how different this world would when the kingdom of God comes in fullness and our Lord reigns forever. What one thing is God calling you to change now to make the kingdom a little more real in our world today?
3. Are you living as if Jesus Christ is your King? If not, what needs to change in your life?