Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help. When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord! ~ Psalm 146
I'm a big Anglophile. When I was a kid, my grandmother went to England and brought me back a doll of Anne Boleyn - that famous wife of King Henry VIII who lost her head. I've been fascinated by Kings and Queens of England ever since.
Old Henry was not the kind of king to put your trust in. He beheaded people left and right - people who he married, people he counted as friends, people in his family, and people who were his advisors.
Not a trustworthy guy.
One of the things Henry is most known for is his break with Rome. Following his reign, the Church of England (Anglicanism and Episcopalianism) came into being. But he wasn't really the one who had a lot to do with how that new church came into being from a practical or theological sense.
And once he was gone, it took a long time for it to take root. Because even Henry wasn't so sold on his new church.
When Henry died, his country didn't really change all that much. As with kings before him and kings after him, life for those on the margins - the poor, the dispossessed, the alien, the prisoner - were still suffering, regardless of what church body was in or was out.
One thing you could count on a king for was not to do much for the bottom rung of society.
With all that talk of a new church, where was the focus on that? Where was the one who would set the prisoners free and open the eyes of the blind. Where was the one who would watch over the stranger and the widow and the orphan?
Not old Henry. Not the kings after him. Not most of the leaders in this world since either.
And yet when we see a leader who does place that as a focus, we can see God at work. We can see the One who is worthy of praise.
The one who sets out to change everything. Including human hearts.
The who is trustworthy. Always.
Praise you O God! Help me to love as abundantly as you. Help me to be your hands on earth, setting free those who are imprisoned by injustice and suffering. Amen