It's the season of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We are blessed to live in a time when we can look back to his birth and celebrate something that has already happened. Can you imagine what it must of been like for those in Solomon's day, when they had no idea if this King would come at all?
It's believed that King Solomon wrote Psalm 72; although it may have been a prayer of David penned by Solomon, his son. In either case, it was most likely written some time between 970 BC and 931 BC. On the one hand it was written about the Davidic Kingship which Solomon was following into; but on the other, it is a Psalm pointing to Jesus, the Perfect King. This means over 900 years passed before the coming of this King on earth.
This season is often called the Advent Season, which uses four Sundays leading into Christmas to remind us what it is to wait on and for the Lord. It's a great practice, but in truth, it's nothing like waiting 900 years. We, on the other hand, are waiting for the return of Jesus, our King. Do you suppose those waiting for the birth of the King grew complacent, just as most of us have grown tired of waiting for his return, that is, the Second Advent (also called the parousia, which is the greek word for "arrival")?
As we read Psalm 72, we get an amazing picture of King Jesus. Have we even come close to understanding how amazing Jesus is? Not likely, but hopefully we haven't lost the wonder and hopeful excitement of the return of Jesus. Hopefully we haven't lost the joy that the Christmas season brings. It's my prayer that we are still excited to celebrate the birth of our Great King. As we celebrate Jesus, let us remember what it is to wait. Let us see how the impact of holding onto the anticipation of Jesus's coming can make that special night in Bethlehem so much more glorious.
I'll be preaching from Psalm 72 on December 14th. Read over the Psalm a few times. Do you see Jesus in it? Imaging what it might have been like to follow so many generations of those who waiting only to find out that Jesus was born! Some left their flocks to go see. Some traveled great distances to worship the King of Kings. Think about how many people didn't have to wait any longer yet still failed to see their need for Jesus. And think about those around us today who are still waiting to meet Jesus for the first time and probably don't know it!
Let us celebrate our King together! Merry Christmas.
*Painting by James Tissot is in the public domain.