This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, a point of culmination, bringing our liturgical year to a close, preparing us to begin a new liturgical year, awakening in us eschatological (Second Coming) hope.
At our parish Vestry* meetings, we begin withLectio Divina ("Divine Reading"), prayerful reading of Scripture with a view to divine intimacy. We typically read the upcoming Sunday gospel. In doing so this past week, one person commented on how, nowadays, in our society, the reality of kings perhaps does not resonate much. This is true, and so we do well to ponder beyond our political experience, to consider some of the benevolent kings of history. Additionally, we do well to bear in mind the other metaphors that Jesus uses to reveal Himself: light, bread, way, life, door, shepherd, etc. These shed light as we try to understand Jesus as king, as try to understand Jesus' kingship.
The kingship of Jesus is indeed different from all other kingships. Jesus reigns from within. The kingships of this world are largely kingships of power. Some, on a good day, are kingships of service. The kingship Jesus is a kingship of love-powerful love, but love. Any power in his reign (and there is power, for he is all-powerful)is at the service of love. The kingdom of God is Jesus navigating and awakening the human heart.
What is Jesus' purpose as king, some may ask? His purpose is to love us into the mystery of God. And, although we would advise him otherwise, he allows bad and sad things, for this greater good. As hard as it is to fathom at times,he reigns even in our brokenness. How hopeful and liberating to know and to be granted to experience, on our personal journeys, and on our communal journey here at Ascension and Saint Agnes, where there is sadness over the death of Fr. Lane, and where there is concern and hope for our future. In the light of Jesus as our king, it is the latter, hope, that emerges as the final note.
When we pray, "Thy kingdom come",we give him permission to reign in our hearts, in our broken hearts, knowing, in faith, how awesome a king we have. Even when do not realize it, He is navigating and awakening our hearts, loving us into the mystery of God. Something amazing is happening deep insideus. If only we trust, and yield in love. We have every reason to hope, not to be discouraged. His kingdom comes. And "His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away." (Daniel 7:14)