This past Sunday many congregations marked the end of the Christian year by celebrating Christ the King Sunday. The Feast of Christ the King is a relatively recent addition to the Christian calendar. It was established as a festal celebration by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and has, in the years that have followed, also begun to be celebrated by many Protestant denominations and congregations. There is a certain fittingness to the Christian calendar ending with the proclamation, “Christ is King!” Not only does this resonate with the shape of the biblical narrative itself, it also provides an obvious segue into the season of Advent, where we await the coming of the King. As I was preparing for worship this past week, I came across a prayer I wrote for worship on Christ the King Sunday back in 2008 that seems like it might also be of use for us today.
This morning we celebrate the reign and rule of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. This morning we give our praise and tribute to the One who has conquered death and now sits enthroned at the right hand of power as King of the Universe. Long live the King!
But if we may be so bold, we your subjects would like to see a little more of your reign. In a world of volatile economies, crushing poverty, and acts of unspeakable violence at home and abroad, we long to see you establish a little more order. We struggle to wait patiently for you to make things right.
If you’re struggling for ideas, we could even give you a few tips for governing your world. Although you might want to think twice before taking them, for we confess that you, Lord Jesus, are not the type of king we would have chosen for ourselves. We long to exercise control over our lives and loves from a position of power, but you have chosen to rule the world from the cross. You invite your subjects to “Come, follow me”, but we much prefer to blaze our own trail. In fact, in many ways the last thing we want is a king, much less a crucified king! So it seems that there is not only much for you to make right in our world, there remains much for you to make right within us.
On this Christ the King Sunday, we thank you that you are a patient and generous ruler who extends grace to the thousandth generation and we pray that you may come in your kingly power and make all things new. Even us, even now.
Come Lord Jesus come.