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Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Year B – Homily

Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Year B
Daniel 7:13-14
Psalm 93:1, 1-2, 5 (1a)
Revelation 1:5-8
John 18:33b-37
November 25, 2018

Daniel prophesized that a Son of Man will come who will given “dominion, glory, and kingship” and that it will be “an everlasting dominion…his kingship shall not be destroyed.”

What king last forever?  We all die, kings die, and earthly kingdoms do the same.  Who is Daniel referring to?  Here we look to the words from today’s psalm, “The LORD is king.

Jesus comes as the Son of Man and he is put on trial.  The accusation brought against him is that he is the King of the Jews.  If he is the King of the Jews, the promised Messiah, how could he be arrested and crucified?  This is not what the Jews expected.

What is a king?  How do we define kingdom today?

In our country we do not use the title “king.”  The founding of our country from the British kingdom happened in part because of a king overreaching his bounds.  So, our country was founded as a country where the leaders are elected and do not serve for life.  They can be ousted from office when they run for reelection.

We call our leaders President, Congress, Governors, etc.  No matter what we call them, they are our leaders.

Whatever name we call them, what do we expect of our “leaders?”  As elected leaders, I think the basic expectation is that they do what we want.  For many, this really becomes what I want.

Many elected leaders think they have all the answers and other elected representatives should just go along with them.  Everything gets caught up in partisan politics and personal ideologies when government activity should be based on what is good for the people as a whole.

Unfortunately, we see some of this in the church where leaders worry about the image of the church instead of focusing on God’s children.  We hear of the “left” and “right” divisions in the church when it should always be about doing God’s will.

For centuries the Israelites did not have a king.  God was their “king.”  God knew that if they had earthly “kings,” those kings would fall short of doing God’s will, instead choosing to do what brought them wealth and power.  God warned the people of this but they begged for a king.

Saul became the first king.  He was not good.  Then came King David.  He was a good king in many ways but he was also a sinner.

Ultimately, Jesus comes as our king but his kingdom is not a kingdom in earthly terms.  As Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom does not belong to this world…my kingdom is not here.

Jesus’ kingdom is not defined by geographical boundaries.  It is not based on how much material wealth he has.  Jesus had no material wealth.  It is not based on how much land he has.  It is not based on how many troops he has.  His kingdom is not a “place” in this world.

Jesus’ kingdom transcends all these things.  Jesus’ throne is in the Kingdom of Heaven.  It is “a kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.”

Jesus came into our world to bring us truth, “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.

Do we listen to the truth that Jesus’ brings or do we try to do everything our way?  The latter is becoming the normal, especially for those who don’t come to church but even for those who do.

Is Jesus our king or are we own king?

We call Jesus our king but do we live like he is the one in charge?  In some countries today that still have a king or a queen, that person is more a figurehead than a real ruler.  Is that what we want of Jesus?  Somebody we put on a pedestal but don’t really listen to?

We are completely free to choose whatever we want in this world.  In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray “thy kingdom come” but God does not force his kingdom on us.

While we are free to choose whatever we want in this world, we need to realize our actions in this world have consequences for eternity.  Where do you want to spend eternity, Heaven or Hell?

Heaven is God’s Kingdom.  It is his choice who he lets into Heaven.  The good news is that he wants everyone to get into Heaven.  Remember, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

That’s why he sent Jesus “to testify to the truth.”  If we truly want Jesus to be our king, we need to listen to what he has to say.  Actually, listening is not enough.  If we truly want Jesus to be our king, we need to live according to his teaching which is the truth of God.

 

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