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Christ the King Sunday

Happy New Church Year! Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent which marks the new church year. I learned something new about Advent that I never noticed before. The Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent is Christ the King Sunday. It marks the end of the season of Pentecost in the church year. Such wisdom the leaders of the church used to ask us to reflect on Christ as King for the very last thought before we move into the new church year that begins with Advent. We all need a reminder that Christ is indeed King to fully appreciate the journey we will take through the life of Christ on earth and in heaven.

It is vital that we settle in our hearts that Christ is the King of Kings who won absolute victory over sin and death through His life, death, resurrection and reign from heaven. There should be no doubt as you meet the baby in the manger that this tiny infant, born to poor and powerless parents, is the King who will set all people free from Satan’s rule and dominion. The Baby who is named and circumcised on the eighth day and brought to the temple will grow up and become a young man Who at the age of 12 astounded the scholars with His knowledge of God and Scripture. The One who is visited and worshipped by the Magi is no ordinary King. The One who is baptized by John the Baptist and whose blessing is heard from heaven began to declare that His Kingdom is here. The disciples He chose to walk with Him in ministry (minus one) reign from special thrones with Him. He teaches us to think and pray for His Kingdom in the prayer He taught us to pray—Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

The gospel reading chosen for this day, Luke 19:8-29, seems somewhat out of place since it describes the events of the Triumphant Entry, the Sunday that ushers in Holy Week. But it is placed there for a reason. The church leaders had a message for the church: never ever forget that Christ is King. In all that you will see and observe about the life, death, resurrection and reign of Christ, never forget that Christ is King.

Do you see Christ as King? Do you really understand what kind of Kingdom He reigns over? Do you see that you are a part of that Kingdom that has not been completed but was established by the birth of Christ? Do you believe that the tiny baby that was born in Bethlehem under a bright star is the King of Kings?

It’s not an easy truth to fully comprehend. Christ has never been a King like earthly Kings. He isn’t the kind of King who lays heavy burdens on His subjects. He is a King like no other King on this earth and His Kingdom is more mystical and mysterious than any that can be defined by boundaries or time. He is the kind of King who wants you to reign with Him in His Kingdom. He wants you to inherit all that He has by faith that He is the Son of God whose death has taken away the sin of the world. This one simple act of faith is all the King asks of you. Yet too many turn down His offer.

I want to join the crowds who, though unable to comprehend His kingship fully, cried out as He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey—Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest (Luke 19:38)! As I walk through the journey of Advent I want to be ever mindful that Christ is the King of Kings who reigns in heaven. What more could bring hope to you this Advent? As you light the first candle of Advent for Hope, never lose hope in the coming of your King.

 

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