Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 (NRSV)
Verse 1Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king's son.
Verse 2May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.
Verse 3May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.
Verse 4May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
Verse 5May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
Verse 6May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.
Verse 7In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
Verse 10May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts.
Verse 11May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service.
Verse 12For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
Verse 13He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.
Verse 14From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight.
May righteousness abound and peace flourish. These hopes and desires of the psalmist are certainly worthy aspirations for us as we greet the New Year. Oh, how we long for people to get along and love each other! Unfortunately, we live in a world marked by sin and brokenness. We hear almost daily of the continuing war in Yemen and conflict and suffering in Syria. Closer to home we continue to focus too much on our own comforts while often ignoring the cries of our neighbors. We are promised that a day is coming when Christ will return and will rule in peace on earth forevermore. That kingdom has already broken into our world but is not yet fully realized. Perhaps this new year is a new opportunity for us to reflect on how we might become better ambassadors of God's peaceful kingdom.
Mighty King, on this New Year's Day, show me how I might live in the coming year as a better ambassador of your rule of peace and love. Amen.