We come now to psalm 21, often referred to as a coronation psalm because of the verses:
- THE King shall rejoice in thy strength, O Lord: exceeding glad shall he be of thy salvation.
- Thou hast given him his heart’s desire: and hast not denied him the request of his lips.
- For thou shalt prevent him with the blessings of goodness: and shalt set a crown of pure gold upon his head.
- He asked life of thee, and thou gavest him a long life: even for ever and ever.
From its original associations with David’s Crown, Early Christians applied this psalm to Christ ‘the son of David’ and therefore the understanding of coronation itself deepened. Before he wears the golden crown prophesied in this psalm, Christ, the true Messiah, comes to suffer with his creation and to wear the crown of thorns, the Corona Spina as it was called in Latin. For the word corona which we have learned to dread, is there in the word coronation, and surely part of Christ’s Corona Spina is this current coronavirus crisis, for he enters into our suffering that we might enter into his glory.
This is the reason I chose the ‘corona’ form for ‘David’s Crown’ this new poetry sequence. For another meaning of corona is a crown or chaplet of poems interwoven so that the last line of the first poem is the first line of the next, and so on until the final line of the final poem is the first line of the first poem.
This psalm of course precedes the special prophetic sequence of psalms 22-24 which speak in turn of Christ’s crucifixion, his leading us through the valley of the shadow death as our good shepherd, and his ascent into heaven as our lord and king. But first that glory is prefigured in psalm 21. All these themes have in different ways entered into my response to psalm 21, and I end it knowing that we will turn, in psalm 22, to Christ’s cry of dereliction from the cross.
As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the play button or the title and you can find the other poems in this evolving series by putting the word ‘psalms’ into the search box on the right.
Now may you find in Christ, riches and rest
May you be blessed in him, and he in you
In Heaven, where to grant you your request
Is always blessing, for your heart is true:
True to yourself and true to Christ your king.
Breathe through this coronation psalm and view
The glory of his golden crown, then sing
The exaltation, goodness, life and power,
The blessing and salvation Christ will bring.
But first he wears a darker crown. The hour
Is coming and has come. Our Lord comes down
Into the heart of all our hurts to wear
With us the sharp corona spina, crown
Of thorns, and to descend with us to death
Before he shares with us the golden crown.
If you are enjoying these posts, you might like, on occasion, (not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish. But please do not feel any obligation!