Wednesday of Advent 2 – Psalm 72:1-7

Give the king your justice, O God,
    and your righteousness to the royal son!
May he judge your people with righteousness,
    and your poor with justice!
Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
    and the hills, in righteousness!
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
    give deliverance to the children of the needy,
    and crush the oppressor!

May they fear you 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 the righteous flourish,
    and peace abound, till the moon be no more!

A couple of weeks ago, the Artemis rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida. It was a critical step in astronauts returning to the moon. The first time we were there, the astronauts of the Apollo missions set up and experiment which is still running, over 50 years later. In involved some special mirrors. Scientists on earth can bounce laser beams off those mirrors thereby taking exact measurements. They tell us that the moon is slowly getting farther and farther away from the earth, at a rate of about an inch and a half per year. At that rate, in about 600 million years it will be so far away that solar eclipses will stop happening.

I am not terribly saddened by that, honestly. I like eclipses and rather enjoy seeing the moon looming over the horizon on a summer’s night, but that is a long time from now. I am more concerned about what happens before that day. The psalmist speaks of God giving Christ our King His justice and righteousness. In the next verses we read what that means. He judges the poor and need with that righteousness and justice. He defends the cause of poor and crushes the oppressor. His rule is like the rain that falls on a mown field, causing the abundance of the earth to sprout and grow, blessing all.

I get to be part of that righteous reign every time I forgive a poor sinner, every time I feed a hungry man or woman, every time I stand up for someone whom the oppressor would oppress. If I am a police officer or government official, I might get in on the crushing of a few oppressors too. I certainly want to be on God’s side of that equation, not on the oppressor’s side. While God’s kingdom is not always apparent to me now, the day comes when my eyes shall see it very clearly. May the righteous flourish and peace abound until the moon is no more.

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