Getting the royal treatment means being given the royal suite, culinary delights, well-aged wines, the best seats and more. In our society, the word royalty connotes privilege, prestige and power. So too, in ancient Israel, causing the prophet Samuel to remind the people of the dangers of royal power. Psalm 72 supports the idea of a monarch but does so with a twist. If the king is God’s representative, then the king must act as God would: “May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.”(verse 4) Like God bringing Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, the king’s job is to liberate the people from all that enslaves them.
When the monarchy died out, the idea of God’s Anointed bringing about God’s reign did not. The hope for a Messiah is for Christians realized in Jesus Christ. In him we see God’s reign of compassion for the poor and oppressed.
During Advent we express our desire for the fullness of God’s reign to be realized. “Come, Lord Jesus, come,” we pray. Until that final advent we are asked to live the values of God’s reign and advocate for the needy and oppressed. We, too, are God’s representatives.
God of compassion and justice, may your reign be manifest in us. Amen. — CST