Friday, November 20, 2009

Daily - 11/20/09

John 18:33-37 - Solemnity of Chirst the King

33 So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"

34 Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?"

35 Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?"

36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants (would) be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here."

37 So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."


(DISCLAIMER: I sent out some of this this out earlier this month, but it's appropriate for Sunday's gospel, so here it is again.)

I think sometimes many of us forget that the "kingdom of God" it actually is a KINGdom. Christ isn't just a guide, or a benevolent teacher, or a big brother giving advice. He is KING. That means he is in charge, and what he says GOES. There is no debate or negotiation.This is tough stuff for us in modern times, and particularly in America, where the idea of being a servant of a supreme ruler runs counter to everything the nation was founded on. 200+ years ago, we rebelled against a king that treated us unfairly. Today, the concept of a king is foreign to us. It's the stuff of history books and fairy tales.

But that's what Christ is. He is King, and we are his subjects. He is not "a" king, he is THE King, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

Every year at Christmas time, we sing song after song testifying to his royalty. Think about the words: "Let earth receive her King " ... "Lord of Light" ... "Glory to the Newborn King" ... "This, this is Christ the King whom shepherds guard and angels sing" ... "Fall on your knees and hear the angel's voices" ... "Behold your King" ... "King forever, ceasing never" ... .

We all know the words. We love them. They give us chills. What do they mean?

We're all in love with the idea of Christ as savior. But what about Christ as Lord? Do we really treat him that way? Do we really think of Him as a King? THE King? The mightiest of all Kings? Greater than any Pharoah, or Alexander the Great, or anyone who has ever walked the planet?

If I say that I "believe in Christ", but I don't follow his commands, do I really believe in Him? Have I submitted to Him as my Lord? Do I truly get that He is my King?