Summary: We are all familiar with the feast or term Christ the King, but do you really know where it comes from and what is associated with. I didn't and I could not believe all what is involved. I is good reading, with some real gems of inspiration. Read on!
This sermon was delivered to St Oswald’s in Maybole,
Ayrshire, Scotland on the 21st November 2010
(a Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).
Summary: We are all familiar with the feast or term Christ the King, but do you really know where it comes from and what is associated with. I didn't and I could not believe all what is involved. I is good reading, with some real gems of inspiration.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
This morning, the theme of our service is Christ the Kings and I could not believe how complex this was until I out this sermon together; however not just about the Kingship of Jesus as there are some real gems of inspiration throughout I hope you will pick up on.
More on that later, but for now we will start with the peace.
We meet in Christ's name. Let us share his peace.
The Gospel Reading.
Hear the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke Chapter 23 verses 33 to 43. Glory to Christ our Saviour.
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing. The people stood by, watching Jesus on the cross; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
Give thanks to the Lord for his Glorious gospel. Praise to Christ our Lord.
“Please be seated, and join me in a short prayer.” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord. Amen. (Ps. 19:14)
In my last few sermons, you must admit I have been given some difficult topics to discuss; so I was quite relieved when I was given this set of readings for Christ the King.
Now I do not know about you, but when I heard the expression Christ the King in the past, my first reaction was to agree, and then somehow switch off because I have absolutely no problem in saying, and believing that Christ is the king. Well that is until I tried to prepare this sermon and I was forced to examine that title in much greater depth, in fact there is much to this topic than I first imagined.
First, let us see where this title “Christ the King” comes from; and surprisingly, “Christ the King” is not a title to be found in the bible, however that description and title of Jesus is based on several passages of Scripture; and, in general, it is used by all Christians all over the world to celebrate and honour Jesus under another heading of the “Feast of Christ the King” on the last Sunday of the liturgical year: that is, before a New Year begins with the first Sunday of Advent next week.
Now the name “KING” does refer to Jesus however, it is a title found in many forms throughout the bible.
Here are a few: “King Eternal” is mentioned in 1st Timothy; and “King of Israel” is cited in John chapter 1. “King of the Jews” in another mentioned in Matthew; and “King of kings” is quoted in both Timothy and Revelations. The “King of King of the Ages” is also mentioned in the Book of Revelation along with the title “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth”.
Now you must admit these are some powerful titles, and you can see “Christ the King” is basically a summation of them all. Words and titles therefore just cannot describe how high and mighty Jesus really is; and my favourite expression of assurance from the bible is that “Jesus is the name above all other names”. In other words, if you can name something, then Jesus is above it; and master of it.