By ANGELA PALACIOUS
WHEN I was a child royalty was very much connected with British rule. We had pictures of the Queen on our exercise books, we marched to the fort and waved Union Jacks when the members of the royal family visited, and the picture of the Queen at various stages of the aging process adorned the walls of government buildings. Streets were named ‘King’, ‘Queen’, ‘Duke’ and we sang the British national anthem as loyal subjects.
The concept of Christ as King is meaningful to us based on our historical experience, but we move from political rule to spiritual rule when we speak of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The collect or prayer for Christ the King Sunday reads as follows: “Almighty and everlasting God whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords as mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under His most gracious rule.”
This gracious rule will be the answer to our dilemma. We have been divided and enslaved by sin for a long time. We need the Kingdom of God to take full control.
In Ezekiel, God’s kingship is described as that of a good shepherd who provides loving care, safe grazing and places of rests, and who will “look for those that are lost… bandage those that are hurt…heal those that are sick,”(Ezekiel 34:15). Psalm 95:1-7 hails God as Creator and thus our call is to worship is to “bow down, bend the knee, and kneel before the Lord our maker.”
For us today in the church, the Second Coming will usher in the resurrection of the dead. Just as Jesus is raised to life, we will be raised to life because of our union with Him. When he comes again, he will establish his Kingdom by overcoming spiritual rulers, authorities and powers, ultimately destroying death, and undertake the Final Judgment. This involves the separation of sheep and goats, with love and kindness as the sign of Christlikeness.
Giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, visiting the sick and those in prison are just some of the ways that we show the love of the Lord to those who are in greatest need. We may add others to our list and make an effort to be a blessing to as many people as possible.
As we prepare to greet our newborn King on Christmas, we have four weeks to get ready to receive Him. Rather than painting buildings and decorating rooms, this King wants us to work on the state of our hearts. The best way to clean it up is to start showing more love after we confess our sins.
If we invite Christ the King to become our personal king, then we move to a whole new level of loving and living. The presence of God is always with us as the Holy Spirit makes us more holy (sanctification). This is the message that we are to share as loyal citizens of God’s Kingdom, and as royal princes and princess in God’s royal family: we each have worth, value and royal dignity because of what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross. We have only to accept the royal invitation to forgiveness, salvation and transformation.