Summary: A sermon for Christ the King Sunday about what it means to be Church.
“Who We are Under the King”
In five weeks we will be singing “This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing; haste, haste to bring him laud, the babe, the son of Mary!”
This Thursday is Thanksgiving, and on that very day, many stores will be open and filled with shoppers.
People will be looking for Christmas bargains as Christmas songs of every type and stripe blare in each store.
Some of us find this unsettling.
I mean, aren’t we supposed to be giving thanks on Thanksgiving?
Can’t the Christmas shopping wait for, at least, one more day?
Also, because many malls and department stores will be open on the Thanksgiving Day Holiday, a large percentage of folks who work in retail won’t be able to spend the day the way it was intended.
In any event, while many of the Christmas songs we hear over the next several weeks will be about Santa Clause, Rudolf and Frosty the Snowman…
…a fairly sizable amount will be referring to a King Who was born in a stable approximately 2,000 years ago.
With that said, what exactly does it mean that Jesus Christ is King?
And if Christ is King what implications does that have for those of us who seek to live under His rule?
In Jeremiah Chapter 23 the word “shepherd” was another word for “king.”
And during the time that Jeremiah was doing his prophesying Israel was going through a terribly difficult time.
Jeremiah names 5 kings who he says are directly responsible for the downfall of the nation.
He says that greed for power and money led these kings away from serving the people.
They didn’t look out for the poor, the widows, the marginalized, the oppressed.
And because of this the “sheep” of God’s pasture have been scattered and driven away.
And the “sheep” or people are “afraid”—“terrified” even.
And so God promises to “raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right…”
The people who live under the rule of this King will be brought together and saved.
And the name by which this King will be called is: “Our Lord Our Righteousness.”
Of course, the King Whom Jeremiah is referring to is Jesus Christ.
And Jesus as King is not some grand military ruler.
He is not arrogant nor is He greedy.
He is a radical King Who hangs out with poor people and marginalized people and then hangs on a Cross for the sake of God’s love to save a lost and broken world.
“This, this is Christ the King!!!”
And we are the sheep of His pasture.
And as the sheep of His pasture we are to model our lives, our actions, our attitudes—our very thoughts after His!!!
But this is not an easy task in a world that struggles with war, famine, poverty, inequality and a horrifying tendency to judge the worth of others based on things such as nationality, race and color.
As you know, a number of us had a great time a little over a week and a half ago as we reached out to those who came to our building in order to vote on election day.
Approximately 400 people walked through the classroom behind this sanctuary to grab a donut, a cookie, a cup of coffee or a bottle of water.
One thing which became evident was that although the majority of the people we spoke to claimed to be Christian or to have a “home church”—many do not regularly attend the churches to which they belong.
Some haven’t been in years.
A large percentage of folks were unable to give the name of the current pastor of the church to which they identify with.
I wonder how these people are able to model their lives after their King without a community with which they worship, study the Bible, pray, serve, witness and help to hold one another accountable.
We are to be the sheep of God’s pasture.
And God’s pasture is His Church.
I know the church is far from perfect.
And that is because it is made up of sinful human beings.
But if it truly is the Church of Jesus Christ—the people are seeking to be faithful disciples of the One True King.
We are to love and forgive one another along the way as we faulty human beings seek to follow the Only One Who is Perfect.
In the Bible, there is no such thing as a Christian who is not intimately involved in the community of faith which is called the Church.
Christianity and the Priesthood all believers go hand in hand.
Christians eat together, pray together, worship together, learn together and grow together.
Christians stick together.