Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Social media is a place of raging. This past week it seemed ever moreso. The Paris attacks; the refugee crisis; the presidential campaign; all churned together to create debates, fear, and powerlessness. Debates about the security of our nation and showing compassion to others; fear of seeing cities near you show up on the supposed ISIS hit list; a sense of powerlessness of what we can really do as regular people. So we go to social media and do what we can. The catharsis of clicking the “Post” button is very real. But I wonder if it is really all just vain plotting.
All of this makes the world feel as though it is spinning out of control. And I can think of no better week for the Church to come together and proclaim that Christ is King over all! I don’t mean to say that we need not take action in the face of evil and chaos, for we are God’s people sent as God’s agents in the earth. But as we act on the earth, may we remember that it is Christ who reigns over the earth.
As we act on the earth, may we remember that it is Christ who reigns over the earth.
We would do well, as we reel from the events of this past week, to mediate on Psalm 2 (posted above), Isaiah 66, Ephesians 1, and especially Philippians 2:
Rather than reacting under the illusion of control, may we serve and rejoice with fear and trembling.
May we remember that heaven is the God’s throne and the earth God’s footstool.
May we rest in the knowledge that Christ is seated in the heavenly places.
And most of all, may we remember, though Psalm 2 rightly declares that Christ may “break the nations” and “dash them to pieces,” that Christ does not do this! Instead he emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant and humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Indeed, this self-giving humility is exactly why Christ has been highly exalted! Christ is a powerful king, but he is the Compassionate King who took on death as the way to life! May we remember this as we act in the world.
Christ is a powerful king, but he is the Compassionate King
who took on death as the way to life!
Shepherd of Israel, hear our prayer
as your Son heard the plea
of the criminal crucified with him.
Gather into Christ’s holy reign
the broken, the sorrowing, and the sinner,
that all may know
wholeness, joy, and forgiveness. Amen.