Christ the King

This is a post from my blog. My hope and aim is to prepare us for Advent — both the arrival of the King and of our role as kingdom people.

Today is Christ the King Sunday. It’s the last Sunday of the Christian year as we begin a new year with the First Sunday in Advent which is next Sunday. I never liked Advent much growing up. In our little church there were potlucks, cantatas, and carol singing which all seemed like a lot of speed bumps on the way to all of the presents on Christmas morning. If you’d asked me ten years ago what season in the church I liked the most I would have said “Easter” because of my firm belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you ask me that same question today, without a doubt, I’m going to answer “Advent.”

If you are familiar at all with Christian traditions, you know that Advent basically means “the arrival” or “the coming”. During Advent we anticipate the coming of Jesus whose birth we celebrate on Christmas day. Jesus was many things: Savior, Messiah, Prince of Peace, Bread of Life, Alpha and Omega, the Great Shepherd, the Lamb of God. There are a lot of other titles for Jesus but today I have only one title stuck in my head: King.

A king is the ruler over a kingdom. I believe that the first Advent marked the establishment of God’s kingdom by decree of our King. Jesus says in John 18:36 “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” Wright says (a little out of context)

When I lecture about this, people will pop up and say, “Surely Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world.” And the answer is no, what Jesus said in John 18 is, “My kingdom is not from this world.” That’s ek tou kosmoutoutou. It’s quite clear in the text that Jesus’ kingdom doesn’t start with this world. It isn’t a worldly kingdom, but it is for this world. It’s from somewhere else, but it’s for this world.

The kingdom of God didn’t come from this world but it is present and active and will remain so until Christ returns for the second Advent which will put a period at the end of human history and begin his kingly reign over all with us, who will rule with him as co-heirs. Like I said this morning in church, the first Advent established the kingdom’s presence by the King’s order to his people, the church. At his command, we are in an all out war against powers and principalities, destroying evil and sin with faith, love, mercy, and grace. Our weapons aren’t sword or gun but the armor of God and the evil destroying love of God and our neighbor.

Next week we will celebrate a new year and the coming of Jesus Christ. Today, let us not forget our sovereign King whose arrival we celebrate during this season or his decree to us to expand the kingdom’s presence in this world.

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~ by revmhj on November 26, 2007.

2 Responses to “Christ the King”

  1. […] Update:  Matthew Johnson has written a post on Christ the King at the Advent blog. […]

  2. […] begins next Sunday and I wrote a short reflection on Christ the King, which is today, as a preparation for the Advent seaso… I’m ready to fire up some Andrew Peterson. Posted by: Matthew Johnson @ 9:55 pm | […]

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