We begin today with Psalm 19. This is one of the most famous Psalms of praise. Its proclamation of God’s majesty opens with the heavens and ends with the deep hidden recesses of the human heart. In between these two points, the Psalmist’s praise of God’s laws can be seen as both a proclamation and reminder that we humans and the reaches of the cosmos are governed by and subject to the same Divine wisdom and Providence.
Exodus 19 illustrates this principle within the realm of overt human affairs. As the Israelites prepare to come before God at Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah (law or instruction), they are reminded that it is their Lord who has brought them up out of bondage in Egypt. Then the selection from 1st Peter emphasizes that God’s people are to be a “royal priesthood.” God’s people are to be priests who serve at the intersection of the Divine and human realms and embody God’s sovereign rule by mediating God’s justice and mercy to the world. God’s people are to act in the world so as to increase God’s kingdom, but not through the human version of kingship that is self-aggrandizing power. Rather, our mandate is to express God’s rule as in Christ’s example of self-emptying love and service.