Christ the King Sunday (November 25th this year) is a time to honor Jesus, the Risen Christ, and acknowledge him as the one and only. We live in a world of trivialities, sports tribes, and of moral/ethical relativism. We hear statements like, “What’s true for you does not need to be truth for me. Everyone has his or her own path.” Such statements are a common way to dismiss any uncomfortable truth that gets in the way of personal freedom.
But we all need boundaries and facts to guide us in life. We can’t just make up the rules on the run. None of us will live long enough to discover the best things in life just on our own, with our personal experimentation. In ancient times there were kings and priests who firmly set the rules, often with little regard for the benefit of the people they governed. So people often prayed for a “good king.”
We are blessed to have a truly good king to show the way in a world of conflicting voices. Our Jesus, who is Christ the King, risen Lord, is the one who showed what true leadership is all about, and what life itself is all about. In Philippians 2, Paul describes his character as a ruler: “although he was actually God, yet he made himself nothing, he became a servant, even all the way to death.” He chose to go this distance for us, his people. And for this reason, God has exalted him to the highest, “that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.”
He is our ruler, and our model. For every one of us who has responsibility to govern, whether we are a family leader, father or mother, or teacher, or perhaps a public officer in local government, state or nation, wherever we have opportunity to guide young people or other adults, he is our model. He is a king worth following, worth listening to for guidance every day.
As his followers, his subjects, he is the one whom we need to consult by reading our Bible, meditating, and praying every day. We need to become so familiar with his voice that his rules for living, his guidance become a part of our very nature. Then also, by coming to him every day, we learn to listen for his special instruction for the day at hand, to let his Spirit speak a particular word of direction, some special assignment. Perhaps it is to pay attention to some neighbor who needs help, or to take steps to resolve some simmering disagreement, or to give away some of our possessions to an organization or to a person who needs them.
Then, while obeying our King we discover daily the joy of knowing we are on the right path, because our King always calls on us to do things that are right and good. And by honoring him with our words and our actions, we help make his kingdom more and more visible, fulfilling the prayer, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”