Each year as we draw to a close the liturgical time, we celebrate Christ as King. This year we are reminded of the roles of Kings as we saw a new King rise to throne over the United Kingdom, King Charles. Kingly rule may seem odd and antiquated for us as Americans. The notion of a king and blood lines that bring one to power is quite out of place in our society.
What can a feast like Christ King of the Universe mean to us? I think there is a characteristic of the relationship of a king to his people that the scriptures that speak to us can give direction and cause for reflection and celebration. Christ as king is mirrored for us in the kingship of David. Let’s look at 1st Chronicles chapter 11 for a look at the David kingship and how it can connect us to Christ as Universal King.
“Then all Israel gathered around David in Hebron, and they said: “Look! We are your bone and your flesh. In days past, when Saul was still the king, it was you who led Israel in all its battles. And now the LORD, your God, has said to you: You shall shepherd my people Israel; you shall be ruler over my people Israel.” Then all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and at Hebron David made a covenant with them in the presence of the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, in accordance with the word of the LORD given through Samuel”
The kingdom was divided between Judah and Israel. The people of Israel went down to Hebron to remind David of the intimate unity and connection that David has with the people of Israel. They remind David, “Look! We are your bone and your flesh.” They identify the unity and oneness that they all of the same origin as God’s chosen people. David as king is a unifying symbol of Yahweh’s rule of His people. Together they are united and bear witness to God’s faithfulness to His promise that He is their God and they, His people.
This unifying force is so greatly needed today. The divisions have grown so much that many have forgotten love, turned their backs on forgiveness. Jesus Christ as King brings together peoples of every national and way of life. All can find strength in His universal Kingship. For Jesus Kingship bring us in to a new relationship with God. Listen to 1 Peter 2:9&10
“you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
It is this message of light and hope that we can proclaim to world. We as Church are called, impelled, sent to share the love of Jesus. To proclaim Christ as king is to send the world an Evangelical message, a message that seeks to draw and to unite the world to Christ. In all corners and aspects of life, streets to the high rises, from the countryside to the city centers, from jail cells to courthouses, from factories to corporate office. We must dynamically and energetically seek to be evangelizers. To share to good news of the Gospel is the purpose for which the church exists. That those who don’t know the love of God come to embrace Him, not by proselytizing but rather Evangelizing. Telling the Good News of the Gospel with our very lives.
It might seem strange that the Gospel places Jesus on the cross between two thieves on this day. Above His head are written the words, “King of the Jews” meant to ridicule and demean Jesus. But rather it speaks far beyond those words. Jesus’s Kingship is not like earthly kings who rule with force and domination. Jesus rules from the cross as Crucified Lord and King. From the cross as Lord and King He reconciles a thief promising “Today you will be with me in Paradice. The power of the cross has the ability to change and transform not only the life of a repentant thief but all of creation is renewed through Christ and His Reign is eternal. A symbol of death, domination and oppression becomes the very throne where the power of God is set forth to transform, renew, heal, save and redeem.
Celebrate Our King!