(Part 13)


Feast of Christ the King

November 20, 2016

Today’s readings:

2 Samuel 5:1-3

Psalm 122:1-5

Colossians 1:12-20

Luke 23:35-43

The scriptures today speak of two kings–Jesus and David. It is who and what they are that can bring God’s people to unity. They are leaders who are servants; they are warriors who are holy. They are our brothers. “Look! We are your bone and your flesh” (2 Sm 5:1b). They are the model for elders in the Church and in Christian communities. In turn, elders become models for the whole people of God. Their task is to help bring God’s people to heaven, giving them great joy. “I rejoiced when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!’” (Ps 122:1).

Jesus is the most important point of unity. “He is the head of the body, the church.” (Col 1:18a). He is the one head of the one body. The one body has many parts, but must be one. Can the body of Christ be divided? It is only in Jesus where we all find reconciliation and peace, which unite us. “For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Col 1:19-20a).

David was warrior and servant leader. “In days past, when Saul was still our king, you were the one who led Israel out in all its battles and brought it back. And the Lord said to you: You shall shepherd my people Israel; you shall be ruler over Israel.” (2 Sm 5:2). David was God’s servant leader, and he was God’s holy warrior.

Elders are called to be both servant leader and holy warrior. Elders can look to David, who was both. As servant leaders, we care for God’s people. As holy warriors, we wage spiritual war with the enemy and rescue God’s people from its dominion. In both, it is about salvation. Servant leaders and holy warriors look to Jesus, as we acknowledge, “This is the King of the Jews.” (Lk 23:38b). And King of us all as well.

Jesus is the Savior. Unfortunately many do not recognize him as such. They are like one of the criminals crucified with him, who said, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” (Lk 23:39b). Jesus did not save himself, but in precisely offering his life, he saved us. Thus we can look to eternal life. We can confidently say, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Lk 23:42). We know what Jesus’ reply will be. “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Lk 23:43).

When servant leaders simply look to serving Christ and his people, with no concern for self, they will be instruments of unity in the body. When holy warriors focus on the war at hand, with no concern for their personal well-being, rousing God’s people to battle, looking only to the one enemy, they will be instruments of unity in the body.

Then they can go forth to lead God’s people to heaven, to the New Jerusalem. “Jerusalem, built as a city, walled round about. There the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord” (Ps 122:3-4a). There in heaven we will meet our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with David, his servant and warrior, by his side. “There are the thrones of justice, the thrones of the house of David.” (Ps 122:5).

*     *     *