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Mid-Week with Christ
July 1, 2020

From Sea to Sea

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Psalm 72:1-14

 
1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! 2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice! 3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! 4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor! 5 May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations! 6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! 7 In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more! 8 May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! 9 May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! 10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! 11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! 12 For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. 13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. 14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight.
 

Prayer for the Day

 
Almighty God, whose wisdom and whose love are over all, accept the prayers we offer for our nation. Bless your servant the Queen and the governments of this land. Give integrity to its citizens and wisdom to those in authority, that harmony and justice may be secured in obedience to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Adapted from the Book of Alternate Services).

Today, July 1, is Canada's National Holiday. Originally known as Dominion Day, it celebrates the creation of the Dominion of Canada from three British Provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada made up of Ontario and Quebec. The young country's motto, "From Sea to Sea," became part of Canada's coat of arms in 1921. The motto itself was taken from Psalm 72:8: "May he have dominion from sea to sea." 

But of what kind of dominion does Solomon, the Psalmist, speak? Not a dominion of domination, but a governorship that looks out for those who are often looked over. May the Lord judge "your poor with justice," and "give deliverance to the children of the needy." The Lord delivers "the poor and him who has no helper," and "from oppression and violence he redeems their life." 

The nations of the earth do not always live up to God's high expectations for justice and mercy. While Canada has succeeded in some areas, it has failed in others. European settlers often confused sharing the Gospel with "civilizing" the original inhabitants of the land. One should never confound the trappings of culture - food, architecture, art and music - with the universal nature of God's redemption of all people in Jesus Christ through his cross. Racism still bedevils us, with non-white and indigenous people still seen as worthy of less respect by too many. We can debate policy and culture; but we cannot debate the humanity of people for whom our Lord Jesus died and whom he continues to call to repentance and forgiveness in himself.

The prayer of Solomon in the psalm still stands. Through the sharing of his Word the Lord continues to call us to make God's preoccupations our own. May our Lord Christ have mercy on all of us poor and needy sinners, deliver us from oppression and violence, and bring peace to all our lands from sea to sea to sea.
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