This Sunday is the last Sunday of the liturgical year, known as ‘Christ the King’ Sunday. The liturgical year begins with Advent, as we anticipate the coming of the King, moving through the year with celebration of his life, works and salvation; and solemn contemplation of the path to the cross and his death, and we now find ourselves at the climax of the year, celebrating the reign of Christ in glory as King of all kings.
The Christ we see in this reading is a very different kind of king to the one in the manger we will be celebrating in a few weeks’ time. It’s good to be reminded that Jesus didn’t remain a cute little baby: ‘the little Lord Jesus, asleep in the hay,’ but grew up into a man who modelled God’s love and justice to the world.
I often speak of God being a God of surprises, and this certainly proved to be true in the divine manifestation of Christ the King. The Jews had been waiting for their divine king for centuries, and yet Jesus was not quite the king they were expecting. Rather than a crown of glittering gold and jewels, he opted instead for a crown of thorns. He was not the political revolutionary that they sought to save them from the oppression of the Romans. Rather, he encouraged revolution from within, so that those who were downtrodden, meek or poor in spirit could consider themselves blessed.
Rev Caro Field