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Thankful for Our King

Happy Thanksgiving, St. Alban’s!

We had a beautiful “Gratitude Sunday” last week, and this coming Sunday, November 26, we observe the final Sunday of the church year, Christ the King Sunday.

Christ the King Sunday sometimes gets short shrift being squeezed in with the Thanksgiving holidays and so close to the beginning of Advent, but it is one of my favorite holy days on the liturgical calendar. On the last Sunday of the church year, Christians around the world are reminded that not only is Jesus our good shepherd, our wise rabbi, and our rock of ages. He is also our supreme ruler, our King of Kings.

Given the grandeur and pageantry we associate with monarchies, we might expect to come to church on Christ the King Sunday and hear scripture lessons that proclaim the majesty of Jesus—glorious stories of radiance and resplendence. But what you will hear instead is one of the most convicting passages in all the Gospels: Matthew 25:31-46.

In this passage, Jesus doesn’t sound much like a king, at least not the kind of king we’re used to hearing. He sounds more like a social worker. Perhaps he actually sounds a bit like our conscience.

I’ll leave it to Sunday’s preacher to unpack the power of Matthew 25. For now, I will just say that we worship Jesus as our king precisely BECAUSE he is nothing like earthly rulers. Earthly kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers, deans and bishops come and go. Whether they abdicate, retire, get voted out, or die…their rule is temporary.

But our King Jesus is forever.

He was the one who taught us about a different Kingdom.

A Kingdom where the hungry and thirsty are fed.

A Kingdom where the naked are clothed.

A Kingdom where the sick are cared for.

A Kingdom where the imprisoned are visited.

A Kingdom where might does not make right.

A Kingdom where even death cannot win out over the promise of Paradise.

If we can accept this kind of King, then we might someday be able to dwell in this kind of Kingdom.

Yours in Christ,


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