Summary: A reflection on the Kingship of Christ and what this means for our lives in a contemporary world.
CHRIST OUR KING!
Today is a wonderful day in the Liturgical Calendar of the Church, an opportunity for a very deliberate focus on Christ and the fact that he is our King. Unfortunately it is also one of those Sundays that most modern churches have neglected, thinking it’s too traditional and ceremonial, many churches have opted to make this just a regular Sunday on which we come to church, get our spiritual fix and move on to the new week. But if we pay careful attention to the season we’re in, if we pause for a moment and recognize that next week we begin our advent celebrations and reflections, we will realize that the old tradition of this Sunday is actually wonderfully appropriate and can be tremendously meaningful.
So what is today then, you might be asking? ... Well, according to the Church’s calendar today is known as Christ the King Sunday. Always observed on the last Sunday before Advent begins, it was set aside in ancient times as a day on which the Church should reflect on the fact that Jesus Christ is her King, our King, and that it is the birth of the eternal King that we celebrate during Advent, and that it is for Jesus as returning King that we will wait during advent.
But, in all honesty, I must confess that I have some sympathy for why the church in many parts of the world chooses not to observe today as a particular day of celebration (I don’t think that it’s ok, but I can understand why); because the fact is that most of us today are quite unfamiliar with the image of a King. We don’t know what it’s like to be ruled by, to submit to, and to depend on the gracious provision of a King, so the image of Christ as King can be quite a foreign concept to us.
It’s like the story a certain aunt once told about her nephew: “Each Christmas our church presents a concert featuring a live nativity scene. My five year-old nephew was up in the balcony on one occasion, not paying much attention. As the Wise men began marching down the centre aisle toward the manger, his father leaned over to him and whispered, ‘Curtis, look! You’re missing it! Here comes the king!’ Curtis jumped up, looked over the balcony and asked, ‘is that Elvis?!’”
The image of Jesus Christ as a King is difficult for us to imagine, so for the sake of being relevant and wanting not to confuse anyone we avoid such reflections altogether. Perhaps for the sake of relevance we do so, but it is done at the expense of meaningful worship, at the cost of learning more about who Jesus is, and it results in a loss of appreciation for the beauty of the Church’s worship. And, as foreign as the image might be, today is the perfect opportunity worship Jesus Christ as our King, to pray to him as our King and to reflect through the readings and sermon on him as our King.
This is Christ the King Sunday and today we will focus on that then... We will read our passage and reflect on that passage with this image of Christ as our King firmly in mind.