A new congress is convening today. Some of us are relieved that the Democrats have a majority in the House. But for Christians, our hope is not in a political party but in leaders who are wise and filled with humility and a passion for justice. Some words of Psalm 72 illuminate that hope:
Give the king your justice, O God.
May he judge your poor with justice.
May he defend the cause of the poor, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.
May he be like showers that water the earth.
In his days may peace abound, until the moon is no more.
For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
He has pity on the weak and the needy.
From oppression and violence he redeems their life:
and precious is their blood in his sight.
As I copy those words here, the image in my mind is of the families of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador fleeing violence in their homes and communities and traveling thousands of miles in search of shelter and help, vulnerable and anxious on the roads.
I will judge the success of a new congress, the worth of a government, by the way it seeks to protect the poor and vulnerable, the way it lives by the religious virtue of hospitality and welcomes and cares for those who are displaced from their homes.
My prayer for my leaders is that they seek to be like the ruler depicted in Psalm 72.