On Kings and Hope

In Psalm 2 we read about the anointed One of God. This is understood in the New Testament, particularly in the Book of Acts, to be referring to Jesus. In fact, in Acts 4:25-27 we see the Apostles directly quote from this Psalm as an explanation of the things they do in Jesus’ name. At this point Jesus has risen from the dead and ascended to the Father in Heaven. They are preaching the Good News (kerygma) of Jesus’ death for our sins, His Resurrection, and Ascension very publicly and much to the consternation of the Sadduccees and priests of the temple who see them and their Savior as a threat to their authority. They also don’t believe in Jesus and who He was. No small motivation in persecuting the disciples of Christ, by the way.

And after Peter and the others are released and told to not preach about Jesus any more, they praise God and continue to rejoice that Jesus fulfills the very things they read or heard in the Psalms. How gratifying that must have been for them. And how encouraging for those of us reading the Psalms and the Gospels and other Books of the New Testament today. Never doubt that Jesus was an actual historic figure who inspired many who then experienced a deep conversion that changed not only their lives, but the lives of countless people down through the ages. Including people like me today.

The understanding that Jesus, true God and true man, died for us, to redeem us and take our sins upon Himself is the very thing that the Apostles in Acts and many other martyrs died for and continue to even in our own time. The example of Peter and the others who would not stop preaching Christ crucified and Christ resurrected for the sake of mankind humbles me and inspires me. But it makes me contemplate on what more I can do to share the “World’s own story” with other people. That’s what the Rev. Richard Neuhaus wrote about. He said we believers in Jesus Christ should “tell the world its own story.” It’s the salvation history of how we came to be and how we want the rest of the world to know and believe. And it’s not because we are judging others’ beliefs as ‘wrong’ or judging them at all!

We just want everyone to know the fullness of the truth that brings us such joy! It’s a beautiful, amazing, suspenseful, breathtaking, and yes, romantic story! Anyone who knows or seeks what is authentically good knows something of God. That is a very beautiful thing. In those cases, perhaps we are just sharing “the rest of the story,” as the late Paul Harvey used to say. But it is much more out of a sense of excitement and gratitude that we want everyone to know the Story of Jesus and His role in the salvation of humanity. It’s a joyful attitude and not one of anything negative that prompts us to speak of Jesus and His love for us all.

The King of Kings died for us. But there is so much more to the story that makes it riveting and compelling. It is a story filled with much beauty, truth, and goodness. Much of those seem to be lacking today. I suppose they always have been. But there has always been a small band of believers shouting the Good News with their lives. Want joy? You can find it here! Want beauty and goodness? We know where to find it – even in the darkest, lowest places in the world and in our lives. Want truth? There really is an absolute Truth. Jesus is that Truth, and the Way, and the Life. Let us tell you about it!

Even in desperate times, when you wonder how things could get so bad, there is that “peace that passes all understanding” (see Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, 4:7) because Jesus gives that to you when He left the Holy Spirit. Why wouldn’t those of us who know it want to share that? Even when all seems lost, it’s not. Because with Jesus you’ve got a Home prepared for you. And until you get there, no matter how many days or decades that may be, Jesus is with you. He promised that. And once you begin a relationship with Him, you will know this; you will experience this. Never doubt that.

Yes, Psalm 2 is a royal psalm because it’s about our King who is also our Brother and Friend. You are related to a King! That makes us royalty, too. But of a far better kind than anything the earth can offer. Here is a link to Father Neuhaus’ call to tell the world its own story! He wrote this in 2001 and is no longer with us, but much of what is written here still applies. It’s written to modern Christians, but it explains a lot about who we are or who we should be. Even if you aren’t a Christian, I hope you’ll read it. Because we still have Jesus, we still have hope!

https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/religion-and-philosophy/apologetics/telling-the-world-its-own-story.html

 

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