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Christ the King!

Christ the King!   

 Jn 18:33-37, Rev 1:4b-8, 2Sam 23:1-7

christ the king

christ the king

As a nation where there is increasing debate on the merits of republicanism replacing our constitutional monarchy, what does a ‘king’ mean to us today? And what comes to mind when we think of Christ as our ‘king’?

Australia was recently visited by Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, amidst great fanfare. The media followed his every move and public appearance. Just as it did his mother Queen Elizabeth II when she last visited with the Duke of Edinburgh in October 2011.

As Christians we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our heavenly king. If Jesus were to visit us in the flesh today, would he receive a similar fanfare? Chances are there would be riots and protests, along with crowds of eager believers clamouring for a glimpse of our Lord.

But is this how Christ would come to us? Scripture paints a picture of Jesus’ promised return as a time of fearsome tumult when there will be terrible signs and confusion.

“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory” [Mk 13:26].

“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” [Mt 24:7-8].

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.” [1 Thess 4:16, 17]

So when will this be? Some ponder endlessly on this elusive question. But Jesus admitted that even he doesn’t know when that time might come:  “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” [Matt 24:36]

So what do we do meanwhile? Today we reflect on Jesus’ threefold office as Prophet, Priest and King. Jesus modelled humility in leadership, and likewise calls us in the ‘in-between times’ to welcome the stranger, feed the hungry, clothe those without, cheer the sick, and put love into action as we honour ‘God with us’ in the here and now as we await his promised return [1Cor13: 1-13].

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert

Sun 25th Nov 2012  7.30am Lismore, 9.30am Dunoon

Christ the King!    Jn 18:33-37, Rev 1:4b-8, 2Sam 23:1-7

 

John 18: 33-37     33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters* again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ 34Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’ 35Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?’ 36Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ 37Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’  

 

Revelation 1: 4b-8    4John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 7Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. 8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

 

2 Samuel 23:1-7    23Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, son of Jesse, the oracle of the man whom God exalted, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favourite of the Strong One of Israel: 2The spirit of the Lord speaks through me, his word is upon my tongue. 3The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, 4is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land. 5Is not my house like this with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. Will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire? 6But the godless are all like thorns that are thrown away; for they cannot be picked up with the hand; 7to touch them one uses an iron bar or the shaft of a spear. And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.