Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
Many Americans are fascinated with England’s monarchy. For many different reasons, we are drawn to the regal pageantry and all of the protocols associated with royal lifestyles. What’s most amazing is that for all of the media attention focused on the comings and goings of English royalty, they really have very little effect on the day to day dealings of their country. Thoughts and images of kings and queens are often centered on this story book understanding of who and what they are. We associate protocols, etiquette, and proper words and actions to how we approach members of a royal family. These tools serve the necessary purpose of keeping them isolated, enthroned, and at a distance. There is something attractive about being an observer of ritual, pomp, and circumstance. It’s almost theatrical.
Is this how we see Jesus Christ, too? We often behave as if Christ is an isolated, enthroned, royal, and even ineffective king. Jesus wants nothing to do with having the status of an earthly king. Jesus also does not want to be watched, observed, or set apart. He wants to get down and dirty with the very stuff of life especially the poor, marginalized, confused, hurting, lost, broken, imprisoned, and forgotten ones. Jesus is the king who turns the tables on us and wants not only our attention but our engagement and conversion. He wants us to get dirty too.
How we treat other people is at the heart of Christ’s kingdom. “Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.” At different times in our lives we are all counted among the “least” ones. We may not be physically poor, but we can easily become emotionally and spiritually poor. We may not be marginalized as many physically are, cast aside because they have too many needs or don’t quite fit in. But who hasn’t experienced isolation, loneliness, inner turmoil, angst, heartache, or loss? Almost every human being has experienced brokenness at one point or another, or will most definitely at some future point, facing discouragement, fear, insecurity. People are thirsty for more than water. We are imprisoned by our prejudices, misconceived notions and ideas, self-focused obsessions and ideologies. There is a lot of pain and many least ones around us. Stop, look and listen. This is what Christ the King is asking us to do. Look deeply into the eyes and soul of your sisters and brothers, all of them, and see Christ himself.
Being a spectator and observing all of the pageantry isn’t enough. Jesus wants us to inherit the kingdom and live the kingdom. It is built on the blocks of love, mercy, compassion, hope, faith, and blessing. It engages those who want it, changes and informs minds, inspires and transforms hearts, converts and renews souls, and sets things right. There is such a great need around us. Are you ready and willing to do whatever you can to serve in God’s kingdom?