Tomorrow we shall celebrate the feast of Christ the King, here follows the Holy Gospel:
St. John 18:33-37.
THEN Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth my voice.
We celebrate the feast "Christ the King of the Universe". A number of my blog readers will remember this day as a great Catholic Feast with processions through the Church and perhaps also on the street. As an Altar server you would have a beautiful day, dressed in a clean surplus with lace at the bottom, all very meaningful. If you were on duty as thurifer you would produce plenty of Holy smoke. As I said it was very meaningful because it was all about Christ as a King.
In those days I never asked myself when this Kingdom of God would come , let alone to what this Kingdom then would look like.
Has nobody ever written a prayer, well a prayer in which we plead with God: " God, Your Kingdom, is it still coming?"
We should really turn this sentence around and enable God to ask us :"Dear People in Launceston and surroundings, my Kingdom, is it still coming.?"
Then, only then we come to the core of Sundays Holy Gospel. Jeus said to Pilate:" My Kingdom is nothing like you imagine. My Kingdom is not of this world, my Kingdom is associated with the Truth, because I have come to withness the Truth."
So He did not come to be a King such as we know Kings, a powerful person in a grand palace.Nothing like that!He is a person, who we get to know slowly, sometimes in the process of a whole lifetime.
There He is, Jesus, hanging on the Cross, lost and helpless and it becomes clear to us He associates more with the poor and other loosers then the VIP's and guests on Crowning Feasts. In order to understand His Kingship we dont look at the pomp and splendour in our society, but focus on those matters, which are not so successful around us and in us.
The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of people, a society of people, as God has intended. Even a society of our Mission her in Launceston. People with different ideas, with flaws and bad habits.
In short, people with good and bad qualities. Therefor God would indeed be asking us:" Friends, the Kingdom of which I spoke,this Kingdom amounts you all , come and get some of it right?"
So we should not ask God, no, God asks us.
What is this kingdom, what does it look like?
Jesus tells Pilate: "It is out of this world. It is not like how you perceive a Kingdom to be: Where power is exercised and if necessary suppression. If so, there would be soldiers ready to defend myself. No in the kingdom of Christ is no military service, there is only one service obligation to serve one another. There is no aggression, no violence.
In the Kingdom of Christ, the wolf and the lamb graze together. The Bible says it so beautifully.
In the Kingdom of Christ, everyone bears the name of God. Nobody is being left out.
Christ the King is there for me and you, completely, and we are there for Him, completely.
We know that Jesus is our Liberator and Comforter, but that He also expects us to look after each other.
If this really happens, then we can answer God thruthfully when He asks us again:" This Kingdom amongst you the way I meant it to be, is it still coming together"?
Father Ed Bakker,
Priest and Missioner,
Anglican Catholic Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne,