Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be the glorious name forever;
may the glory of the Lord fill the whole earth.
Amen and Amen.
(adapted from Psalm 72:18-19)
Religious observations include Passover, a remembrance of their deliverance from Egypt; the Festival of Weeks and the the Festival of Booths, to thank the Lord and to share with employees, family, immigrants, and those in need.
Elected officials are told to render equitable decisions, not to distort justice, not to accept bribes.
We can read this psalm in its historical context. A few kings had praise-worthy reigns. Most did not. Psalm 72 is a prayer that the new king will be one of those who carries out the role the way the Lord would have intended for a king to do.
And we can read this psalm in our own time and place. I am a citizen of a country that eschewed the monarchy over two centuries ago. But, the qualities of a king in this psalm are certainly the qualities we would pray for in our elected leaders.
I have done so myself. Several years ago, a member of the local church I was serving asked me to attend and say grace for a breakfast and for a mayoral candidate. Even though as a minister, I was not willing to make an endorsement in an election, I was and am willing to pray for leaders and prospective leaders. I read portions of this psalm before giving the blessing to the meal, including verses 1 through 4 and 12 through 14; that is, the ones that ask that God give the king justice and righteousness. Note what righteousness means--defending the cause of the poor, giving deliverance to the needy, and crushing the oppressor.
Let us pray for a world, a country, a state, a city, in which the poor and needy are cared for and oppression crushed.
And, while we are waiting, we need to assume some of these kingly responsibilities ourselves. The poor and needy don't need to be kept waiting. Neither does opposition to oppression.
Prayer for Today: Choose a prayer from Joan Stott's website The Timeless Psalms.