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Summary: A sermon for Christ the King Sunday Proper 29

Christ the King Sunday

Proper 29

John 18:33-37

"The Real King?"

33 Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"

34 Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"

35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?"

36 Jesus answered, "My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world."

37 Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice."RSV

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

While taking a tour of Europe, a tourist visited a lovely estate in Italy. He admired the beautiful garden which had been taken care of in a wonderful way. He walked ground the garden, he came upon the gardener and said, " My, you have done a beautiful job with this garden. How long have you taken care of it.

The gardener replied," 25 years."

How often has the owner been to this estate?"

"Four times."

"When was he last here?"

"Twelve years ago."

"But, he must write to you often with instructions?"

"Never."

"Well, who comes to look after things? To make sure things are kept up?

"I am left pretty much alone. I take care of things."

But you keep the garden so lovely that one would think you were expecting the owner tomorrow."

"Today, sir, today,!!!"

"Studdard Kennedy, the great English chaplain used say, "The judgment Day will be when you stand before God and the throne of heaven and God will turn, look you in the eye and say to you, "WELL.!!"

As you can tell from these two stories, our theme today concerns the second coming of Jesus Christ and the judgment which will come to each of us at this time. The first story reminds us that we must be ready or prepared for this coming since we don’t know the time when he is coming again.

And the saying of Studdard Kennedy tells us that we will have to answer for our lives, God will look at us and ask us, "Well"....

How you answer will be very important.

Will you answer that you have lived a good life and try to impress the Judge with all your acts of righteousness? Will you answer that for most things in your life you were righteous. But honestly, there were a few areas that weren’t so good? Or will you fall down on your knees as the Publican did in the temple and declare that you are a sinner only deserving God’s punishment? Then the King of Kings will stretch out His hand from the right side of God’s throne, lift you off of your knees and declare he has taken your punishment and then he will show you the place he prepared for you in his kingdom.

This morning, we are going to look at these 3 responses to the King of kings and God the Father. We can answer, I am the king of my life, or The king and I together control my life, or the King, not I, controls my life .

First I am king. This is the response that acknowledges that I control my own life. This is the response which is seen very clearly in the old Burger King slogan which said, "Have it your way." Or the favorite song by Frank Sinatra, "I did it my way". The slogan and that song speak very clearly of the thought which is very important in our world that I do and can control the destiny of my life. It is the thought that whatever I want, what ever I do, is okay because I did it my way. It is the thought which says selfishness is okay. I need to look out for number one and no one else. It is the thought that success is good, no matter how I achieve it. It doesn’t matter how many people are hurt or treated unfairly in my quest for success as long as I feel good.

This kind of thought is seen in all areas of society. The million dollar athletes who play only when they feel like it, and who use drugs to make themselves feel good or high. The corporate executive who steps on as many toes as possible to climb higher up the company ladder of success. We could go on and on. All of us at one time or another have shown our selfish side when we are king of our lives. No one can tell us what to do or how to act. We can’t see anything around us but our own needs. The welfare of our family or children take second place to our wants, our needs, our desires.

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