Christ the King Sunday as a celebration was added to the church’s calendar very recently. It started in the aftermath of the First World War, and was instituted to remind Christians that nations and rulers are not the powers to which we owe our allegiance. We remember that we have no idols to whom we look for salvation, but rather it is God alone who helps and saves and shields us, and Christ Jesus is the one God has given us as the revelation of God’s saving love in the flesh.
Jesus Christ is for us a sign of the kind of world and common life that God has intended for us. Jesus is not a megalomaniac who is bent on forcing us to bow and scrape for every morsel that might get sent our way. Jesus unbends the back of the woman who is bent over and he calls us to stand upright in God’s presence as well. Jesus’ love is not the zero-sum game of a two-bit tyrant who desires us to live in fear, jealously guarding the words of life. Jesus’ love is multiplicative. Like the loaves and fish, the more love that is needed, the more there is to be had, and there will be buckets and buckets left over at the end of the feast. Jesus doesn’t hold his relationship to God as something to be held over us, but rather tells us that to be great one must become a servant of all.
The water of life is free to all, not bottled and sold for profit.
When the prophets tell us that every mountain is being made low and every valley being raised up, they’re not talking about rocks. They are talking about us. The Reign of Christ asks us to look at our lives and decide what are the mountains in myself and my world that need to be lowered? What are the valleys that need to raised up? How is Jesus calling me to raise others up? Multiply love? Become a servant?
As we celebrate Christ the King and begin the Advent season, how will we prepare to welcome Christ and his reign into our world?