Christ the King – November 21, 2021
Even after Israel had experienced the vagaries of kings, the people still longed for a true king to set things right. He would have the king’s title of Anointed One (Messiah); he would be the “one like a human being” (Son of Man) given dominion in Daniel’s vision. Jesus is given these titles, even though he is nothing like an earthly king. His authority comes from the truth to which he bears witness, and those who recognize the truth voluntarily listen to him. We look forward to the day he is given dominion, knowing his victory will be the nonviolent victory of love.
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 - The one coming with the clouds rules over all
Psalm 93 - Ever since the world began, your throne has been established.
Revelation 1:4b-8 - Glory to the one who made us a kingdom
John 18:33-37 - The kingdom of Christ
Prayer of the Day
Almighty and ever-living God, you anointed your beloved Son to be priest and sovereign forever. Grant that all the people of the earth, now divided by the power of sin, may be united by the glorious and gentle rule of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
GOSPEL MESSAGE - Sharing the Glory
When you picture Jesus in power and glory, what comes to mind? Maybe a heavenly vision of an enthroned Christ, surrounded by saints and angels and the whole heavenly host? This is the kind of image that must have been in the minds of the disciples James and John in today’s gospel when they came to ask Jesus if they could be seated at his left and right side in his glory. Yet, Jesus redirects their desire for glory toward a different picture—active service to those around them.
The picture of Jesus’ power in the gospels is not one of king but of servant Lord. We do not see Jesus seated on a throne, issuing orders, and being served, but as an unassuming man, living among people, listening to their needs, and sharing God’s healing mercy with them. Throughout his life, Jesus revealed his power and glory through the love and compassion he showed to those who were suffering, through forgiveness for those overwhelmed with guilt, and by speaking truth to worldly powers. Jesus calls his followers to share in his power and glory by being at his left and right hand as he stoops to wash feet, as he touches those considered unclean, as he is mocked by worldly powers. This is where true glory and power are found.
Christ gathers his followers together in one body for worship today in order to serve them with his word, with the waters of rebirth, and with his own body and blood. In these simple acts, his glory and power are present. They call us to carry Christ’s love out into the world, sharing it in our homes, at our jobs, and with the people around us who need to know God’s power in their life.
Copyright © 2021 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.