Defenders of the Poor: Reflections on Psalm 47

If YHWH is ruler over all the earth, and if all kings of Israel were to be the guarantors of the righteousness and justice of the land (however poorly they in fact played that role in reality), and if Jesus is now enthroned at the right hand of God, as the creeds all say, then his ascension has placed the divine seal of approval on God's intention for all of God's people for all time.

We, too, like God, Israelite kings, and Jesus are called to be lovers and defenders of the poor. As such, we must speak truth when those who make our laws would forget the poor when they deliberate. As such, we must speak truth when those who make our laws would rather have more tanks and bombs than homes and hope for the poor.

Psalm 47 is at the last a deeply political psalm as is the Ascension of the Lord. So, please. When your congregation starts that execrable chant, "you have stopped preachin' and started meddlin'," just say, "I am doing what YHWH, ruler of the earth, and the poet of Psalms 47 and 72, and the ascended Jesus have called me to do. Sorry. I can do nothing else."

5/29/2011 4:00:00 AM