‘Christ the King’ – Do you know Him?
‘Christ the King’ – Do you know Him?
In the Church’s calendar, today is a day given to remembering the title of Jesus as King. In the past, Absolute Monarchy demanded absolute loyalty. Subjects would give their loyalty to the monarch to receive protection and justice. We know from our own history and current world politics that not everyone placed into such a position of authority handles that level of responsibility with the necessary levels of justice and wisdom.
In our modern world, where do we place our loyalty? There’s a lot of talk about loyalty at the moment. Loyalty to political ideology and political parties, loyalty as a consumer to particular shops in a cost of living crisis and loyalty to sporting teams. With the men’s football world cup starting this afternoon, Prince William, our future King, Prince of Wales and President of the English FA was asked last week where his loyalty lay in the tournament. His response? “An England v Wales World Cup Final would be the best wouldn’t it?” A wonderfully diplomatic response that has him balancing firmly but precariously on the proverbial fence.
It’s always good to be reminded of foundational pillars of our faith and today enables us to focus on that of Christ as King. Our readings today speak of God’s plan to raise up a future King that will bring wisdom and justice and righteousness. They tell of the character and power and authority of this King. Who He is and why he has come.
With the death of Queen Elizabeth in September, the UK has a new King. Some are happy with this situation, some are not but the reality is that we have one and the Coronation of King Charles 111 will be on 6th of May next year. We can accept it, oppose it, ignore it, reject it or deny it but the reality remains; we have a new King and we can decide where our loyalty will be directed.
Throughout scripture God poses a similar question to us all – where are we placing our loyalty. God’s call is that we might listen and follow Him and by doing so discover the fullness of the life that he intended for each and every one of us. We can decide where our loyalty will be directed.
Paul in his letter to the church in Colossi reminds us of the prophecy given in Jeremiah some 600BC that this King is the means by which we can finally step into a full and right relationship with Almighty God; but it requires a decision. We can accept it, oppose it, ignore it, reject it or deny it but the reality remains.
Paul writes of the power of the Cross to reconcile us to God but crucially, Jesus’ victory on the cross does not mean that everyone has been saved from death, but it does mean that everyone has the possibility of being saved from death – every single one of us has to make a decision as to where we place our loyalty. This links us nicely back to the teaching at our Benefice gathering 2 weeks ago, where our children sang worship over us so wonderfully of the invitation from God for us to respond to who He is. ‘Come to the Table’ they sang. Trust the Lord and give Him your loyalty.
But people cannot respond unless they know what they are called to respond to.
This is the calling of the Church – this is our raison d’etre. It’s why Jesus created the Church; that those of us who have discovered the joy of making that decision can share with others that they might know the same. That is why the Church exists.
Many need to explore what this means for the very first time and with our course ‘Christianity Explored’ running in January there is the opportunity for every one of us to invite someone we know to come along with us and learn the truth of what Christianity is all about. It’s the single most important thing that any of us can ever do for another human being. After that … it’s up to them. For those of us who have taken that step and been, as Jesus instructs us, ‘Born Again’ we need to continually make the right choices to keep Christ as King in our lives – King over our thoughts, our actions, our words, our decisions, our finances … our loyalty. Christ the King requires us to get off the fence and make a decision – where are we placing our loyalty?
I close with the words of the American pastor Shadrach Meshach Lockridge who summed it up so beautifully and powerfully.
‘My King is a sovereign King. He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. Do you know Him? He’s the greatest phenomenon that ever crossed the horizon of this world. He’s God’s Son. He’s a sinner’s Saviour. He’s awesome. He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. His promise is sure. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous, His yoke is easy and his burden is light. He’s indescribable. He’s incomprehensible. He’s invincible. He’s irresistible.
I wonder if you know Him? You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hand. You can’t out live Him, and you can’t live without Him. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him. Yea!, that’s my King. That’s my King!
That’s Christ the King.