This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday which is the last Sunday in the Liturgical Church Year. Christ the King Sunday is the culmination of the Liturgical Church Year a year which begins in Advent with the anticipation of the coming of Immanuel and takes us through the celebration of Jesus’ birth, God’s self-manifestation in the Epiphany Season, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. As we celebrate Christ as King, we conclude one year in anticipation of the beginning of another year as we prepare for the coming of the King.
In our celebration of Christ the King this week we leap ahead in our reading of the gospel Mark to Mark 15:1-5; 15-41 to reflect upon and learn about our King. Our King who in Mark 1:14-15 proclaims “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” The one proclaiming that the kingdom of God is at hand is the one we are reading and hearing about as first stated in Mark 1:1 “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus Christ is our King – Jesus Christ, the Son of God who calls us to repent, that is, to return to God.
What kind of king is Jesus Christ?
The norm of having a king like all other nations as the leader of the people of God does not happen until the First Book of Samuel chapter 8. Israel is facing a Philistine threat at the time of Samuel the prophet. Because of the threat, Israel requests a king. Samuel was angry because in Israel’s request they were rejecting God’s rule. The key here to God’s displeasure at the request is the request itself, to “appoint a king to lead us, such as all other nations have,” (1 Samuel 8:5). As we celebrate Christ the King we face the same decision that the Israelites did. Who (or what) do we want as our King?
Join with me in reading in the following order Mark 15:1-5; 15-41; Mark 1:14-15; Mark 1:1; finally the entire gospel of Mark. In reading, reflect upon Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Answer the question for yourself, your family, First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, and the Church what kind of king is Jesus Christ for you?