God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.(Psalm 47:8 from the Introit for Trinity 7)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Oh He does, does He? Reign over the nations? God's over them all? It sure doesn't look like it! It looks like every nation just does its own thing without any regard for God at all. Society and culture and kingdoms and politics all seem to be about self-interest and pleasing ourselves. Where is God in all of that?
Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father and sits upon His throne. That's over all nations. But how? The Psalmist isn't teaching us that everything on earth obeys God. Far from it! Rather, He's teaching us that the Lord's kingdom is above every kingdom on earth that ever was or will be.
The Son became man, lived for us, died for our sins, rose from the dead, and ascended to the right hand of the Father. He sent His preachers into the world and gave the Holy Spirit so that through His Word, sinners would be called to repentance and brought to faith in Him. That is Christ's kingdom. That is His power and reign and throne and majesty. And it is above every nation.
No matter what nation or tribe or culture a person is from, that Good News is for them. You don't have to be a particular race or class or color to have the Good News that your sins are forgiven in Christ. You can be from a democracy or a dictatorship; it doesn't matter. Jesus' kingdom is for you.
Kings and governments have often tried to stamp out the Christian church. The Romans did. Where are they now? The Soviet Union did. It's probably only something you've heard of in a history book. Hitler's Thousand-Year Reich lasted less than ten years. Yet since the days of Adam, through the Old Testament church of the children of Israel, to the Christian church which spread with the apostles' preaching, Christ has been ruling over the nations.
Tomorrow in the Divine Service, you will receive what Christians the world over are receiving: Jesus and His gifts. Wherever they are, whatever they suffer, wherever you are, your Lord rules over all things and has made you a part of that everlasting kingdom. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Christ sits at God's right hand, His saving work complete, To reign till ev'ry foe will lie Beneath His feet—All that the Father planned, The Son sought to fulfill, When first He said, “Lord, here am I To do Your will.” (LSB 564:1)
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.