Christ the King 2016
We’ve come to the end of the journey. The last day in the liturgical church year, Christ the King Sunday.
Sometimes relating the image of Christ as our King is hard for us to get our heads around. Certainly, in our country, we wrote a constitution that eliminated one sovereign King, and established a government based on a balance of power by three branches of government. Many other countries that still have a king or queen, are actually ruled by a prime minister and a parliament. So the idea of having a king who more than a benign benevolent figure-head is somewhat foreign to most of us.
But Christ as King is more than a figurehead, or he should be. And He is certainly not benign.
In the Baptismal Service in the Episcopal Church, after Baptismal candidates renounce evil, they are asked to turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as their Savior, and promise to follow and obey him as their Lord. When I’m doing a baptismal class, we have to think about that word Lord. It is not a synonym for God, its more of a synonym for King. Think about the word “Lord” in feudal terms. It means the Lord or the Land, the Leige, or the Master.
I have a friend who puts Kingship and Lordship in more modern terms. I’ve heard her say, “Let me get back to you… I need to talk to the Boss about that one.” Or, when someone suggests an action that is morally suspect, she might say, “You know, Management frowns on that.”
While our country is in the middle of a contentious political transition, and there has been such a mix of anxiety and triumphalism, ugliness and compassion, fear and hope, our greatest hope is to follow our True King as we engage the rest of the world.
The scriptures we heard this morning use a variety of images to show us what it means for Jesus to be our King, our Leader, our Boss, our Lord. In Jeremiah, it is the image of King as Good Shepherd, leading Israel and protecting them.
In Zechariah’s song in the Canticle, the King is a savior, who sets us free, and saves us from our enemies.
In Colossians, we are told that we have been rescued from Darkness and transferred to the Kingdom of Light, where God’s son rules. Jesus reconciled all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross.
And of course, the Gospel shows us the sacrifice of the cross. We have a King who went to the cross to save the whole world, to save both men hanging next to him – the good thief and the bad thief. We have a king who willingly suffered and died for the sake of the whole world.
Still, it’s hard to describe a king like that. So, I’m not going to try… I’m going to let another preacher do it for me.
The Rev. Dr. S. M. Lockridge was famous African American preacher, who pastored Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego from 1953 until 1993, and who died in 2000, delivered versions of his sermon “That’s my king” all over the country. So, in the rest of my time, I want to share part of it with you today…. And, while I have no illusions that I am a Dr. Lockridge, this is the type of preaching where your responses are welcome.
That’s My King – Dr. S.M. Lockridge –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzqTFNfeDnE [See links to You Tube Recordings Below]
The Bible says my King is the King of the Jews.
He’s the King of Israel.
He’s the King of Righteousness.
He’s the King of the Ages.
He’s the King of Heaven.
He’s the King of Glory.
He’s the King of kings, and He’s the Lord of lords.
That’s MY King.
I wonder, do you know Him?
My King is a sovereign King.
No means of measure can define His limitless love.
He’s enduringly strong.
He’s entirely sincere.
He’s eternally steadfast.
He’s immortally graceful.
He’s imperially powerful.
He’s impartially merciful.
Do you know Him?
He’s the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world.
He’s God’s Son.
He’s the sinner’s Saviour.
He’s the centrepiece of civilization.
He is the loftiest idea in literature.
He’s the highest personality in philosophy.
He’s the fundamental doctrine of true theology.
He’s the only one qualified to be an all sufficient Saviour.
I wonder if you know Him today?
He supplies strength for the weak.
He’s available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He strengthens and sustains.
He guards and He guides.
He heals the sick.
He cleansed the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharges debtors.
He delivers the captive.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent.
And He beautifies the meek.
I wonder if you know Him?
He’s the key to knowledge.
He’s the wellspring of wisdom.
He’s the doorway of deliverance.
He’s the pathway of peace.
He’s the roadway of righteousness.
He’s the highway of holiness.
He’s the gateway of glory.
Do you know Him? Well…
His life is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His Word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
And His yoke is easy.
And His burden is light.
I wish I could describe Him to you. Yes…
He’s invincible. He’s irresistible. You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hand. You can’t outlive Him, and you can’t live without Him. Well, the Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him.
Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him.
Herod couldn’t kill Him.
Death couldn’t handle Him, and
the grave couldn’t hold Him.
Yeah! That’s my King, that’s my King.
Another version: http://lukeplant.me.uk/blogmedia/seven-way-king.mp3
A younger version – http://lukeplant.me.uk/blogmedia/seven-way-king_younger.mp3