11-18-19 - King of What?

(You can listen to this reflection here.)

Sometimes snippets of songs pop into my head when I'm working on Water Daily. This week’s gospel reading brought up Sara Bareilles’ King of Anything. “Who died and made you king of anything?” goes the chorus.

This coming Sunday ends the church year before we rev back up in Advent. On the last Sunday in “ordinary time” we honor Christ as King. King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And in the years when our Gospel readings come mainly from Luke, the passage appointed for highlighting Jesus’ kingship is the crucifixion. Yep, right before Christmas.

This story invites us to think about what kind of king would be put to death on a cross with common criminals on either side. “Who died and made you king of anything?” is the attitude of the leaders standing, watching Jesus die. An inscription hangs over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” The soldiers supervising the execution mocked him, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" Pilate had interrogated him about his kingship, and Jesus only gave him cryptic answers like, “My kingdom is not of this world.” No one knew what kind of king this was, or even if he was king.

Today, let’s stay on the threshold of this story and think about Jesus as king. Is he king (boss, chief, higher power…) in your life? Let’s put ourselves into a feudal, monarchical system for just a moment – how do you feel about Jesus being the highest authority in your life, with the final say over everything? Are there any places, or topics, or people over which you’re unwilling to cede power to God? Why?

If you’re willing, have a conversation with Jesus about that. I do believe he will listen and not make a grab for what you have not offered. He’s an amazingly patient king that way…
And if you are willing to acknowledge Jesus as King in your life, where do you find the blessing in that?

I guess in our story the answer to Ms. Bareilles’ question, “Who died and made you king of anything?” is “Jesus did.” 

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