Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christ the King

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here." John 18:36

When I was a child, I remember being profoundly moved by the Mark Twain story of the Prince and the Pauper. Two boys change place, one so he can avoid the persecution of poverty on the streets and the other to avoid his cloistered world. Neither really understood the others world and thought it was fun and a lark. Instead, when tragedy strikes, the pauper posing as a prince finds himself inadequate for the role. The joy of the story is to watch the normal order of things turned upside down. And how pompous and controlling adults seem to be whether they are rulers in finery or live on the streets. We see the lack of compassion across the board and the drug that power is in both places.

Today, as we celebrate Christ the King Sunday, I am reminded how Jesus answers Pilot that his kingdom is not of this world. Jesus isn't Lord of power but of love. A kingdom based on kinship and fidelity, compassion and healing rather than an iron clad despot. It really is not of the world where power and control infect us all. Christ's kingdom appears when people are not swayed by politics but rather by compassion and concern. A kingdom where the poor and the rich are children together at the table.

Today, I want to give thanks for the moments in my life when I have glimpsed the kingdom of God. Whether it is in the love of my family or the compassion of this community, I feel blessed to know Gods reign breaking forth in my midst. May we all be blessed to witness the reign of Christ today. May we all take responsibility to make manifest the love and compassion of Christ.

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