Summary: Advent is the season in which the Christian meditates on Christ coming into our lives bringing salvation if we repent, and on the return of Christ as judge and ruler in righteousness.
Thy Kingdom Come AdventI (A_) Psalm 72__1-7
Sat, Dec 8, 2007 Sat of First Sunday in Advent
First Reading: Isa 2:1-5Epistle: Rom 13:[8-10]11-14
Invocation: In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Let us pray: [Psalm 72:1-7]
1 Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. 2 He will judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. 3 The mountains will bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. 4 He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor. 5 He will endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations. 6 He will be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth. 7 In his days the righteous will flourish; prosperity will abound till the moon is no more. Glory be to the Father and to the + Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen.
This psalm is a prayer likely written for King Solomon at his coronation. As he was crowned king of all Israel some 3000 years ago, this prayer was most likely prayed for him. So why spend so much time praying this psalm tonight? Why should it be our responsive reading and the opening prayer of the sermon? Why take so much time to consider these words written as a prayer for a king who is long dead? Well, because this psalm is more than just a prayer for King Solomon. It’s a prayer for the Messiah; a prayer that sees in Solomon an earthly preview of the glory of our heavenly King.
All the qualities that we pray for in this psalm—God’s justice, his righteousness, holy prosperity, protection for the afflicted, salvation for the children of the needy—Surely, Solomon could posses these qualities. Surely, he could do these things for his people—to a some extent. Any earthly king or president or leader could possess these qualities and fulfill these desires for his people—to a certain degree. But when we come together as the Church and pray this psalm, we’re not praying for these blessings to some extent or to a certain degree. We pray for all these blessings in their heavenly fullness.
We pray this psalm because we long to live under a king who judges justly with heavenly, holy, justice. We pray because we yearn to know the love of a king who rules with complete, sacred righteousness. We pray because we desire to experience the compassion of a king who will protect and defend us and our children, come what may. We pray this psalm because we long in our hearts to lay eyes on a king who will bring us salvation from the devil, the world, and our sinful flesh. T
Tonight, as we pray, we’re not praying for Solomon. We’re not praying for any earthly king or ruler. No, as we pray this psalm, we pray for the coming of the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. During this season of Advent we pray, "Stir up your power or Lord, and come." Come, and bring the reign of your kingdom among us.
Only Christ can answer this prayerSo we pray that Christ would come, bring his kingdom into our hearts. Fully. Totally. Completely. Without holding back, and without reservation. When we pray this psalm, we’re asking God the same thing we ask him in the Our Father. With the words of the psalm we pray, "O Lord, Thy kingdom come."
God has promised that his kingdom certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but with words like these we pray that it may come among us, also. We pray that the heavenly kingdom may be in our midst, right here where we are. Certainly, Christ has been born, regardless of our prayer. Certainly, Christ has brought his kingdom into the world without our prayer. But tonight, as we get nearer and nearer the Christmas season, we pray in the words of this psalm that the Holy Spirit would prepare our hearts to receive the babe born in Bethlehem. We pray that by God’s Word the Holy Spirit would work faith in our hearts so that we receive and experience the heavenly righteousness and holy justice of the promised Son of God.
Christ himself, urges us to pray this way. In the Gospel of St. John, Christ tells his disciples:
[St. John 14:13-14]
" . . . I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.