REIGN OF CHRIST SUNDAY: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
REIGN OF CHRIST SUNDAY: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Today is a very special and solemn Sunday because it is the last Sunday in the church year. At the beginning of the Church year, we witnessed the birth of Jesus; later, we witnessed his crucifixion followed by his resurrection. Today is the celebration of Christ as our King and judge. On the other hand, some people would say, the day of reckoning judgement day. We celebrate his Kingship and Christ second coming. Here is how Canon Andi Hofbauer summed up the significance of Reign of Christ Sunday.
I quote, It is about Gods judgment and our place in the kingdom of God. For to Jesus who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a Kingdom priest serving his God and father, to Him be Glory and Dominion forever and ever. Amen. End of quote.
According to the Gospel reading in Matthew 25:33, Jesus separates the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left hand. He then invites the righteous on his right hand to inherit the kingdom that he prepared for them. Then he banishes those on his left hand into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Both groups were astonished when Jesus told them what they did, or did not do in his presence. I find this incredibly interesting. Here we refer back to the gospel reading where he says in Matthew 25:v40 and v45. Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.
When I think of Jesus as Ruler of the Kings of the earth, many images parade in my mind. None of them though shows him wearing a crown. In fact, the only crown I remember is a crown of thorns during his crucifixion, and they covered him with a purple robe. That was the closest he came to royalty. In addition, they mocked and spat upon him, yet he did not yield to temptation, nor did he invoke his Kingship. There was no fanfare, and any entourage and music band to announce his entrance. In fact, here is an example of the kind of taunting he endured. This is an excerpt from one of the Show
JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
“So, You are the Christ? The great Jesus Christ?
Prove to me that youre divine
Change my water into wine
Thats all you need do, I know its all true
Come on, King of the Jews.
Prove to me that youre no fool
Walk across my swimming pool
If you do that for me,
Then Ill let you go free
Come on, King of the Jews
Im waiting yes Im a captive fan
Im dying to be shown that youre not just any man
So if you are the Christ, yes the great Jesus Christ
Feed my household with this bread
You can do it on your head
Youre a joke, youre not a Lord
Youre nothing but a fraud
Talk, talk, take him away
Hes got nothing to say
Get out, You king of the Jews”
That was very harsh. Jesus responded by saying, My Kingdom is not from this world. He refused to yield to temptation and did not use his heavenly powers for a rescue. Clearly, he is not the type of King who delights in worldly trappings and pomp and ceremony. More importantly, Jesus tells us that he came into this world to testify to the truth. He has fulfilled his mission and his calling.
On this Reign of Christ Sunday, here are some of the things I do know about Jesus the King. He was born in a stable; he is a shepherd and a teacher. He came to testify to the truth of Gods kingdom and to prepare a place for all of his children. He rules by love and tender mercies and loves all people. He is compassionate and more concerned about right and wrong. He came to serve, and he died so that we can live. He is the kind of King who is trying to bring about repentance for all people before it is too late.
How do we continue to love each other and practice living by Jesus example? Here are some of the times you and I have stepped up, without a thought of who is watching and we did the right thing just because. It is the kinds of things Jesus would do.
- So you helped an elderly gentleman or lady with a bag of groceries, or across the street
- you bought a cup of coffee for a stranger, or paid for their meal
- you checked on your sick neighbour-perhaps brought some chicken soup
- watched a friends two young children for a couple of hours so that he/she have some alone time
- visit someone in hospital, a nursing home or a shut-in senior
In these moments, Jesus is watching. That is our reward.
So how do we honor Jesus and his beliefs? We can do so by imitating him through simple acts of kindnesses and serving others. We can dedicate ourselves to living a good life. Let us take a moment to examine our own actions, to wonder if God is present among the people we disregard or despise. Perhaps Gods reign of judgment has given us clarity to see that it includes those we believe are just plain wrong.
Gods reign of Love is encompassing because it includes everyone. The point is that God regularly shows up in those places we least expect God to be. God shows up because he always takes care of those in need. He is relenting with his redemptive and unselfish love. The gospel reading invites us to recognize the presence of God in the need of those around us always. If we communicate in love and act in love, then we are participating in the kingship of God, and meeting Jesus.
Today, I challenge everyone to start living the life Jesus intended for us so that we can all be at the wonderful Kingdom he is preparing for us. I also believe that if each of us tries to be mindful of how we speak to each other and regard one another on a daily basis, then we can rest in the knowledge that we are contributing to a Kingdom built on love, compassion, selflessness and our abiding faith in Christ our King.