Tonight, we will speak of kings. The Second Sunday of Advent offers a Royal Psalm. Royal Psalms and Enthronement Psalms express the Lord’s kingship over heaven and earth.
Enthronement Psalms are a reflection of the New Year festival – rain waters the earth – symbolizing God’s defeat over chaos and infertility. The Mediterranean climate had two seasons: summer from late April to early September and wet winters from late September to mid-April. Scholars speak of the enthronement psalms being sung during the fall New Year Festival.
“The Lord is king” is an enthronement cry. It may also be understood as “Yahweh has become king!” not that he was previously dethroned. It is a liturgical acclamation! The Lord’s kingship is renewed and experienced in a new way as the world seems to come back to life after summer time with the fall rains.
The Royal Psalms celebrate Yahweh’s appointed king from the Davidic Line who ruled from Zion. Zion was seen as a towering mountain, the home of God, and a place of security. Before the exile, if you asked who the Messiah was it would be the one living in Zion, the big house, the present reigning king!
In Royal Theology, the king was considered a son of god, adopted son of god, or even son of god in a complete sense, namely, king as a divine being. This was slowly accepted.
The ritual of anointing a king has pre-ancient roots, long before Israel. Think in terms of hot and dry ancient middle east. The use of oil and cosmetics were available to rich people. The olive oil with perfume was used to remove the discomfort of summer heat.
So there’s a little background on Enthronement Psalms & Royal Psalms. Hopefully its helpful as we approach the psalm for the Second Sunday of Advent.