(Our church celebrated Thanksgiving more than anything, but that’s another story.)
In 1925, Pope Pius XI put this day on the liturgical calendar to help the church remember the authority and lordship of Jesus. We have human presidents, monarchs and leaders all around the world, but as Christians, we are subjected to the rule of Christ first.
Interesting thing, however, is that the Gospel reading from Luke (23:33-43) does not tell the story of a powerful king. The reading features a man who faced death, mocking, harsh treatment. A man who was powerless.
Yet, this man is our king.
Compared to powerful, well-known, rich world leaders, Jesus doesn’t appear to be much. He wandered from town to town with his rag-tag band of followers. He didn’t have a home, didn’t have money, didn’t have much fame. He challenged authorities, had some strange religious practices and insisted on spending time with people who were shunned by society.
Feature Jesus on CNN this morning and most people would call him a religious nut, either accompanied by an annoyed eye-roll or a sympathetic click of the tongue.
I often wondered why we celebrated Christ the King right before we start the Advent season. It seems to fit better around Lent, really. The more I think about the kind of king Christ is, the more I realize that it makes perfect sense to celebrate Christ the King before Advent. The king was born the most humble, anonymous birth.
That never ceases to amaze me. May I honor Christ’s reign and Christ’s servant leadership with my life.