Long Live Christ the King!

Sunday, November 20, 2022 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

Readings: 2 SM 5:1-3; PS 122:1-5; COL 1:12-20; LK 23:35-43

On this Feast of Christ, the King, our readings show us that we serve the greatest of Kings, who is at the same time the humblest of Kings. Christ is the perfect model of servant leadership. And what an indescribable privilege that He has called us to be servant leaders — faith-filled disciples who labor in advancing His Kingdom.

In our second reading, from Saint Paul’s letter to the Colossians, Paul describes the great power and dignity that characterize Christ the King. “All things were created through him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together.” It makes you want to stand up and cheer. That’s our King!

Yet what a contrasting description of the same King we find in our Gospel passage, from Luke. Now we see our King nailed to the Cross. Everyone from rulers to soldiers to the criminals on either side of Christ is mocking, sneering, and reviling him. They tauntingly urge him to prove His kingship by coming down from the Cross to end his suffering with a great show of power: “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.”

But He does not. Amazingly, it is in this moment of seeming weakness and humiliation, when all appears hopeless and lost, that the full breadth of his greatness as king is displayed. Though all things were created through and for Him — Christ chooses to live entirely for others, for us!

What does this mean for us as his followers and Christian sons and daughters of His kingdom? Precisely that our lives are not about us. They are about Christ and others. And we will advance his kingdom to the extent that we embrace this mindset: my life is not about me; it is about serving the Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords.  Long live Christ the King.