Sunday, 25 November 2018

An unwanted king, Christ the King, Year B

Jn 18:33-37; Rev 1:5-8
Imagine, for a moment, that you have a job that no-one wants you to do.
Or, imagine, you have a product that you’re trying to sell, and yet no one wants it.
This image, in many ways, describes the Lord Jesus, especially today on this feast day of Him as “Christ the King”:
No one wants a real king these days, maybe a figurehead, maybe a symbol to look pretty and open parliament once a year, or to cut ribbons to open a new shopping centre.
But, in our culture, no one wants to be told what to do, no-one wants a boss. We even have the phrase, “You’re not the boss of me, no-one is the boss of me, only I am the boss of me”.
People, sadly, can even relate to God this way:
We want a symbol, a figurehead, a nice old man in clouds, but we don’t want someone who is going to tell us what to do. We don’t want someone to be our King.

Let me focus that image more: imagine you are selling a product that no one wants, but it’s a product that everyone NEEDS, even though they don’t want it.
This image, maybe even more profoundly, sums up the problem of the Lord on His feast day of Christ the King.

What do people NEED to be truly happy and fulfilled?
We need more than money;
We need more than presents -Santa can’t bring you REAL fulfilment.
To be truly fulfilled, we need to find the PURPOSE we were created for:
There is a need in me that can only be satisfied by the One who created me.
-That means I need Christ as my King.

While it is a very un-“modern” thing to admit, at my deepest level:
I can’t create my own purpose and meaning;
I need someone to tell me what to do;
I need someone to direct me;
I need the Lord Jesus to be my King.

Let me shift the focus, and bring in the issue of “truth” -this year our Gospel reading focuses on the Lord Jesus as Truth. We heard Him say, in describing His type of Kingship to Pilate, we heard Him say He bore witness to the truth (Jn 18:37), as He also said elsewhere in the Gospels: “I AM… truth”(Jn 14:6).
Truth, also, is unfashionable today. People think they can make up their own truth. They think that what’s “true for me” is not the same as what’s “true for you”.
The Lord Jesus says otherwise.
He IS truth because all reality is measured by Him, because He made it all (Jn 1:3).

And what of our society, instead?
It has wealth;
It has an abundance of food, even if not adequately shared,
It has gadgets and technology, iPhones and X-Boxes.
But if you don’t have a purpose it your life, then these things aren’t much good to you.

If I want my life to have a purpose and direction, a fulfilment and happiness,
Then I need to come to One who is the “Alpha and Omega”(Rev 1:8), the beginning and the end.
I need to accept His Lordship,
not just as a symbol and figurehead,
but in every moment of my life, in every aspect of my life.
I need to accept the Lord Jesus as my king.

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