Christ Our King (11/24/13)

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Christ Our King
Colossians 1:11-20

A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.
He asked, “What are all those clocks?” St. Peter answered, “Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move.”
“Oh,” said the man, “whose clock is that?”
“That’s Mother Teresa’s. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie.”
“Incredible,” said the man. “And whose clock is that one?”
St. Peter responded, “That’s Abraham Lincoln’s clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abraham told only two lies in his entire life.”
“Ok! And where’s my clock?” asked the man.
“Your clock is in Jesus’ office. He’s using it as a ceiling fan.”
He is definitely doomed. Right?

On the last Sunday before Advent, we celebrate Christ the King or Reign of Christ Sunday. The earliest Christians identified Jesus with the predicted Messiah of the Jews. The Jewish word “messiah,” and the Greek word “Christ,” both mean “anointed one,” and came to refer to the expected king who would deliver Israel from the hands of the Romans. Christians believe that Jesus is this expected Messiah. However, unlike their expectation, Jesus came to free all people, Jew and Gentile not from the Romans, but from sin and death which are the two greatest enemies in our lives.

Christians have long celebrated Jesus as Christ, and his reign as King is celebrated every Sunday and especially, in Advent, Christmas, Holy Week, Easter, and the Ascension. However, Pope Pius XI asked the church to specifically commemorate Christ as king, and instituted the feast in the Western calendar in 1925.
In the 21st century many Western Christians, Catholic and Protestant, celebrate Christ the King Sunday. Today, I would like to invite you all to think of this expression, Christ the King.

We believe that Jesus came to accomplish redemption and forgiveness of sin for the world. Through his life, he loved and served people. Based on his life, we honor him as the head of the church and his resurrection provides hope for the people in the world. Also, we believe that in Jesus all the fullness of God is please to dwell. Through Jesus, God is pleased to reconcile all things to himself.

Now I am going to ask you two questions. First of all, “What kind of king is Jesus?” He holds no scepter for recognition but a towel for service. Rather than demanding that people bow before him, Jesus stoops before people in order to wash their feet, cool their fevered brows, touch their sores, and ease their pains. Instead of commanding a well-armed militia to advance his message by might, Jesus commissions a straggly group of common people intoxicated by his love to spread the gospel of peace. Jesus prefers giving away everything that he has to the poor. And the only throne on which he reigns is a cross.

Then, here is the second question, “How does Jesus rule as king?” The rule of Jesus occurs within the hearts and minds of all who follow Jesus. The kingdom is within. Repeatedly Jesus described a kingdom dramatically different from a kingdom controlled by the powers of this world. He spoke of people’s inability to define the location of the kingdom of his rule, explaining that the kingdom of God’s rule is within a person. Again, the kingdom is within us.

On this last Sunday of the Christian year, let us happily affirm the kingdom of Christ. As we renew our commitment to the reign of Christ in our lives, let us plead for a renewed submission to the rule of Christ within the lives of all. With the submission, we affirm the altered values, changed thinking, new visions, and priorities of redemption that prevail where Jesus rules. Then together we can declare with impassioned conviction, “The kingdom of God’s rules is among us. Jesus Christ reigns forever!”

Let us pray.
Christ our King, we give thanks to you for the lesson this morning. And we give thanks to you for Jesus who reigns over our lives. Give us wisdom and faith to follow Jesus and bless us to experience your kingdom throughout our lives. In your name, we pray. Amen.

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