Today marks the end of the liturgical year; next week we start anew with the season of Advent. Today, the last Sunday after Pentecost, is better known as the feast of “Christ the King”. There are a few symbols of this feast around our church, some in the stained glass and some in the wood, so for the children among us, I encourage you to seek and find them. There is the cross, the symbol of agonizing death, of total vulnerability, with a crown, the symbol of great power, around it. A cross and a crown, vulnerability and power, both are symbols of Jesus. From this symbol and this feast we are reminded that the king we have in Jesus Christ is very different from the kind of king the Hebrews expected their Messiah to be.
This feast of Christ the King is actually relatively new in the church calendar, although the Biblical references to Christ as king are many. Pope Pius XI instituted this day as a feast in 1925. Think about what was happening in Europe at that time. The leaders on the rise were dictators, Mussolini and Hitler. The Kingship of Jesus was in direct contrast to their world view. Jesus’ dominion is and always has been based on love and service to others. Today’s lessons aid in describing the kind of king Jesus is and what his kingdom is like.