Monday, March 9. Psalm 45:1-17.
Each Monday we read a Psalm that is somehow connected to the reading from Matthew of the previous Sunday. Yesterday the text for the week was Matthew 22:1-14 and was the parable of a King who invited people to attend the wedding feast. Psalm 45 is a lavish song about a royal wedding.
Kings, palaces, horses, golden robes; this all sounds like fairy tales to us. It is very difficult for the 21st century US citizen to comprehend what life was like in a country ruled by a king. Back in those days the king carried the entire identity of the country in his personality, his possessions, and in every action that he took. The people looked to the King for everything.
The phrase “speed of the leader, speed of the team” had extra meaning for that culture.
Psalm 45 paints a grandiose picture of a noble king. Here’s the problem. Israel very rarely had a king who fit that description. Most of their kings were corrupt, selfish, overly taxed the people, and made bad political alliances with countries that did not honor God.
That is why the people longed for a day when the Messiah would come and establish a throne where the king was a man of God. They longed for a king who ruled the people with kindness and compassion, who brought true justice for the poor, and protected the people from those who would harm them.
So, what does this have to do with us? The metaphor of a kingdom is one that runs throughout Jesus’ teaching. His first sermon said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Jesus is the Messiah. He is the King who established an upside down Kingdom. He didn’t ride a mighty stallion, but rode on a donkey. He didn’t rule with an iron fist, but he gave up his life for his people.
King Jesus did have a royal wedding. Do you know who the bride is? Us. The church is the bride of Christ. Jesus is our royal husband who has secured a place of safety and honor for us by “purchasing” us with his blood. He gave his life, so that we might have life eternal in his Kingdom of Love.
That’s a pretty good royal wedding, don’t you think!