“Christ the King Sunday”
The Monarchy is a problematic topic for us, Americans. We do not have a king. In fact, our country was founded by rebelling against a king. We live in a democracy, not under a monarchy. We elect our leaders (and sometimes we are more successful than others). We are not ruled by people simply because they were born into the right family or right social class -- they still have to be elected (usually based on the amount of money they spent on trashing each other). We stress our individual rights -- sometimes to the expense of corporate responsibility. We do not have the "warm" feelings about a king that people in many other countries may have. So how do we talk about Christ as King to Americans?
In addition to this, the Kingdom of God is a difficult phrase to understand. How should it be translated? Kingdom can refer to the royal power, dignity, reign, or authority to rule as king. With this understanding, "entering the Kingdom of God" might be better understood as "accepting God's rule/presence (over me/us).”
To some people, Spirituality has become a worldview according to God of their understanding, while to the people of faith it is, plainly, an infiltration of their lives by a new quality of life altogether. It is this invasion in human life - to create a character in each one of us, the Christ-like character. Without this intervention, this power from God, the teaching of Christ, and the concept of Christ as the King remains a beautiful but unattainable idea. Then cynicism and anxiety take place and say: “You cannot change human nature,” and “What is the Truth, anyway?” Pilate’s attitude of relativism is very much prevalent in our culture. For me, this form of cynicism is not logical, realistic, or tough. It is unrealistic and somewhat cowardly because it means you do not have to try to think twice. However, the fact of Christ’s Presence is shattering all cynical denial of possibility for change.
We are not an army of social workers with a political agenda as good as it may be, or a collective of lonely spiritual seekers. We are the members of Church where Christ is the Head, and all of us live in Covenant with each other. In many ways, “Reign of Christ Sunday” is not like Independence Day on the secular calendar, where our secular nation celebrates the hope of individual freedom on July 4th; on the last Sunday of the Christian Year, we celebrate the hope that there will be a time when a cherished thing like individual freedom will not matter anymore because we will all be restored to unity with our Creator and each other in the Kingdom of God.
For those of us lost in hopelessness, frustrated that all that we do seems not to be enough to restore the brokenness of the world; and for those of us who think we are making a difference in the world, that Kingdom is a reminder that – no matter how good we can make things here – God can and will make them better. Perhaps most importantly the Kingdom is a place where all of us, the hopeless and the incurably hopeful, can all meet together – for we serve under one loving King of the Universe.