When the collects were being put together for the new Common Worship Prayer Book this collect in draft read that the families of the nations “be subject to his most gentle rule”
When this came up for discussion it was felt this was too soft and so the line was changed to “be subject to his just and gentle rule”. This serves as a good reminder that while Jesus came as the Prince of Peace he did not come as the World’s Doormat.
All of Jesus’ life and work reflect the notion of God’s justice for all people especially those who find themselves on the margins of society. While Jesus did not overthrow the Romans in the way many thought the Messiah would, he did overthrow the powers of sin and death and opened a new way for all to be made whole in the sight of God. Sometimes we have to fight hard for truth and justice to be made real and to carry on the work of Jesus in helping the marginalised and oppressed. This is why we give thanks for the work and sacrifice of our armed forces as they seek to preserve the right to just and gentle freedom in our country.