Saturday, November 19, 2011

Christ as King

Jesus always speaks of and embodies a different kind of power- that of service, self-forgetfulness and honesty, a strength that comes from deep trust in His Father. Jesus invites us into this same place of deep trust and freedom. His dominion has nothing to do with pushing others out of the way so that he can be number one and have control. He enters Jerusalem meek, riding on an ass. And He will receive the only crown we could manage to offer him- one woven out of cruel thorns. And so we may call Him king, if we understand that He has turned the whole idea of power and majesty absolutely upside-down, inside-out, for His power is made perfect in littleness and weakness.

Someone very gentle and loving is trying to lead us forward in hope; Someone who leads by falling down, being spat upon, shoved and tortured. Not to teach us how to be doormats; that is not what His kingdom is about. It is about refusing to fight evil with evil, about absorbing hurt because of hope and trust in One who is at our side, even within us; and witnessing to the reality that pain and fear and suffering are powerless to define who we truly are. They are simply not our destiny. We belong to Christ Jesus our Master, our King.

Jesus holds us in love, empowering us to go forward in courage and faith because nothing can really harm us; we belong to Him. The worse may happen, truth be told, it already has, and in Christ we are the victors, because He has made us a kingdom of priests, and kings. Baptized into the resurrected, victorious Christ we are of His royal, kingly line.

Includes some insights from James Alison. Photograph by Brother Daniel of Renaissance glass fragment in an Abbey window.