When I think about Jesus, when I close my eyes to pra y, an image appears. The image changes, depending on the mood I am in and the nature of my prayer. When I am feeling joyful, I think about Jesus blessing the children, his head thrown back in laughter at something they might have said, and I thank the Lord for my life. When I am sick, I think about Jesus laying his hands on the lepers, making them whole again , and I ask for his healing touch on me. When I feel lost and al one, I think of Jesus leaving the ninety-nine sheep to find the one lamb who s lipped beneath the fence, and I am comforted. When I feel th e march of time crawling up my spine, and I wonder if my faith will really save me, I think of Jesus, hanging on the cross, assuring the thief be side him that Paradise awaits, and I pray there is room for me, too. Healer, Savior, Shepherd, Friend… Jesus has been all of these to me at one time or another, and more. But, of all the images I have of him, the one that seldom comes to mind is King. It’s Jesus’ humanness I can relate to. His divinity – ah, now that’s another thing entirely!
Jesus as King can bring to my mind the troubling images o f the End Times as described in the Book of Revelation, with the fear that I might be caught in the middle of the ultimate battle betwee n Good and Evil. And, if I let it, the image of Jesus, riding on a white horse, crowned and adorned in a blood red robe, eyes flashing fire, mouth like a sword, releasing the fury of the wrath of God on the nations can be as scary as the Haunted Trail I walked this Halloween. I much prefer the image of Jesus sitting on a pillow, warm and friendly, enjoying a meal with the common folk to that of a king, meting out justice with an iron hand.
But what I must remember is, just as Jesus was not your typical human, neither is he your typical king. Jesus is the King of Kings. He is, and was, and ever will be the same person he was wh en he walked the earth. Kind, compassionate, just, gentle in spirit, generous and wise, Jesus is and remains unchanged; a Servant King, who would rather die than see one of his subjects hurt. We need not fear th e forces of evil in any Age, for we belong to him, and he is honor bound to protect and care for us. His body and blood were shed for us. He continues to be for us. And, if God is for us, who can be against us?
Christ the King Sunday is the day we recognize Jesus’ kingship. For, what good is it to worship a God who has no power to make good on the promises he has given us? And, so, we rejoice in the fact that at his second coming, Jesus’ power and authority will have no self-imposed limits. When he comes again, Jesus will be able to do all the good that he has refrained from doing since he first left his throne to become one of us. On that day, the things t hat are broken in this world will be mended; pain, and suffering, and death will be no more. He will gather us to himself like a hen gather s her chicks, and we will be safe in the shelter of his wings, forever.
And, so, when I am feeling afraid and the evil force s in this world seem to be closing in, I will think of Jesus, standing calmly before Pilate, saying, “My kingdom is not of this world…You would h ave no power over me unless it had been given you from above;” (John 19) and I will not fear. He is my Lord, my Light, my Joy , my King. Glory be to God!
The peace of Christ be with you always,
Pastor Barb <><
If God is for us, who can be against us? NKJ Romans 8:31