Headline: Our King and Our Citizenship

Posted on: 2014-11-26

Kings with feet of clay

"Money and power impress man, and dominance impresses animals. Neither does much for God". How I agree with that impressive quote from Joshua Dubois, former White House director of faith based and neighborhood partnerships! As for wealth I am one of those who believe that few rich people own their property really. Generally it is their property which owns them. That is why a certain John Jowett has said: "The real measure of our wealth is how much we would be worth if we lost all our money".  But kings with feet of clay believe very much in their wealth and that they actually own what they possess. Just review your images of kings and rulers in this world; elaborate escorts, glittering thrones, extravagant regalia and precious paraphernalia. These, most often do not translate to a reign of peace, harmony progress and love. Too many powerful people in this world have simply proven that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. They characteristically forget that great power comes with great responsibility. General Joe Stillwell nailed it when he said the higher a monkey climbs, the more you can see of his backside.

Glimpses of the king of kings

What impresses the God has been differently defined in the Bible; the faith of Abraham, the trust of Noah, the goodness of Joseph, the nobility of Moses, the perseverance of Job, etc. Each of them teach us a valuable lesson about what makes God to exalt those whom he chooses. Jesus Christ gave instances of God's perspective. He commended selfless generosity. He once looked up in the temple and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury of the Temple. He also saw a poor widow putting two copper coins and commented: "Truly, I tell you this poor widow has put in more than all of them" (Lk. 21:3). Jesus personally demonstrated the supreme requirement of his reign by submitting to death on the cross for love of sinners. "There is no greater love than this, to give one's life for one's friends" (Jn. 15: 13). His submission and humility was not only verified when commanded. When he gathered his disciples unto himself a day before he died, while they were at supper he took off his cloak and washed their feet in an uncommon demonstration of humble service. In fact his voluntary willingness to be a different kind of King was evident even before he came down to earth. "Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, and in his appearance found as a man. He humbled himself by being obedient to  death, death  on the cross. That is why God exalted him and gave him the Name which outshines all names, so that at the Name of Jesus all knees should bend in heaven, on earth and among the dead. and all tongues proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father" (Phil 2: 6-11). That is the simple formula for the kingship of Jesus and the prescription for all those who would reign with him.

The kingdom of the King of Kings

The kings of this world do not easily accommodate the King of kings and his allies. David denounced that situation in the psalms. "Why do the nations rage, among peoples this useless murmurings? They arise the kings of the earth. princes plot against the Lord and his anointed. Come let us break their fetters, come let us cast off their yoke" (Ps. 2;1-3). According to the psalm, the Lord merely laughs them to scorn for he will crush them. "You shall rule them with iron scepter, and shatter them like a potter's jar" (Ps. 2:9) That is the promise of the God of gods to his anointed. Jesus Christ's kingdom is not a kingdom for the proud but for the humble because God resists the proud (Jas 4;6). It is a kingdom for those who have learnt to forgive the most grievous crimes committed against them even when they are innocent (Matt 6;15). Jesus himself cried out on the cross: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Lk. 23: 34). We find those models thankfully right here even in our world today for it is only in this way that we can hope to heal the world. In the United States of America, the parents of Peter Kassig, one of the latest American victims of the brutal ISIS terrorist group operating in parts of the Arab World, after the murder of their son said: "We will forgive the killers. The world is broken but it will be healed in the end". We need such people who would have the power to call down "twelve legions of angels" to destroy and yet choose to forgive? The Bible instructed us best when Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians. "Your attitude should be the same as Jesus Christ had". This is the commandment and character of the King of Kings and his true disciples.

We e citizens of heaven

It is quite easy today to consign all this to the world of fantasy.  Excuses abound for that. How can selfless service, humility, generosity and forgiveness make sense in the present circumstances? That exactly is what the Solemnity of Christ the king celebrated annually is meant to establish. it is a celebration of optimism that no matter what our current trials may be, Jesus remains our king in every way and his reign, our destination. His kingdom beckons us now, let us all make a fresh vow and enter in.