Summary: A sermon for Christ the King Sunday
Christ the King Sunday
Jer 23:1-6; Ps 46; Col 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43
"The Suffering King"
"And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching; but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him vinegar, 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 railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? 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 justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."" Luke 23:33-43, RSV.
Grace and peace to you from the risen and exulted Christ. Amen
"A father took his son out into the field to fly a kite. The sky was clear, the breeze was fresh. The kite soared into the heavens, and soon all the line was played out. The boy held the stick and string for a while, feeling the kite dance and tug against its tether. Then he said to his father, "I want the kite to go higher " "
His father replied, "It cannot, for there is no more string."
"The string is holding it back," insisted the boy. "Let’s cut it so it will be free to fly higher. Without a word, his father cut the string and the boy watched with amazement as it fluttered to the ground! Then his father explained, "The kite is free to fly; because the string holds it back. It’s the line that holds everything together "
It s the line that holds everything together, it is the person, the Christ the King who holds all of life together for us as Christians. Today is Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the church year, the Sunday in which we dwell on the kingship of Jesus. His reign as He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the father, the right hand of mercy and love.
It is that tension in our lives by Christ the King which keeps us going, which gives to life the right balance to keep us going in spite of all the noise we hear around us. Because Christ reigns as King, we live. It it s as simple as that.
All of our lessons this morning point to this kingship of Christ and what that means for our lives and it describes our response to this King of kings.
In our lesson from Jeremiah, the kingdom of God is described in terms of justice and righteousness. This kingdom is described as something different than usual something different than the world is used to. In Isaiah 61:1-4 the kingdom of God is described in this manner: "He has chosen me and sent me to bring good news to the poor, To heal the brokenhearted To announce release to captives, And freedom to those in prison He has sent me to proclaim, That the time has come, When the Lord will save his people..." or as Jesus says In Mark 1:15 "The right time has come, and the Kingdom Of God is near Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!"
The kingdom of God which broke into this world through Christ brought a different order to life. The broken, the hungry, the poor, were released from their guilt and the burden rested on those who were blessed to be fair, to live with justice and righteousness all their days.
This radical kingdom of God was brought to earth by Christ and is now carried on through His body, the church, you and I. Paul reminds the Colossians of that in our second lesson. He says: "He is the head of the body, the church, he is the beginning,the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent." Through Christ, the visible part of the body of Christ is manifested through the church. Luke 17:20 says, "Do not say "Look here it is or There it is because the Kingdom of God is within you, among you.