January 4

Psalm 72:`1-7, 10-14

“May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts.” vs. 10

When a new prince was crowned in Judah there was no limit to the extravagant dreams and hopes that were given voice by the people. With a new ruler on the throne this psalmist even looks forward to the day when distant kings and rulers would bring gifts and tribute. Even in those days there was a sense that what happened in Jerusalem was more than a local event. Judah was a small country with little international importance, yet its religious leader believed that what happened there would have an impact on the whole world. Now it’s doubtful that anyone beyond Jerusalem even took note of the psalmist’s words when they were sung at the coronation. But the psalm was remembered and was used regularly in the liturgy of the temple even after the country of Judah had been swallowed up by adversaries. And then in the fullness of time it happened! A child was born–and the whole world was touched. And even though few took note of this baby, his influence would ultimately be felt in every nation. Of course the psalmist wasn’t talking about Jesus–that’s not how prophecy works. But there was in his writings a sense that one day great things would happen in his land, and all the world would take note. And he was right! It’s what happens when people dare to dream!

Thought for the Day: What is the American dream?

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