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“The Feast of Christ the President?” by Brian Flanagan, Fiat Ventures

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

How was your Thanksgiving?  Mine was great.  Pretty standard; we had the usual: turkey, mashed potatoes, and avoidance of anything resembling a political conversation.  I bet yours was much the same.  Around our table were die-hard Republicans, die-hard Democrats, and people who could care less about the whole thing.

Most of us have been taught not to bring up things like politics around an extended family dinner table like that, because people can be offended.  While there’s some wisdom in doing that with family, some people extend that approach to all of their friends, classmates, or coworkers, always preferring to avoid politics.

Faith is another topic that people tend to avoid talking about, whether around the Thanksgiving dinner table, or in everyday life.  But is faith really on the same level as politics?  Are matters of government spending on the same level as discussing the meaning of life?

We often reduce faith to a matter of personal preference.  Instead of “Christ the King”, we look at it like “Christ the President.”  Perhaps we ourselves have voted for him and donated to his campaign so to speak, but if the other guy says #NotMyPresident, we’re content to leave it at that.  But Jesus isn’t the President, he’s the King.  In fact, he’s the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

The official title of this Sunday’s feast day is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.  Presidents come and go, and their authority and power come from the people and the Constitution.  If everyone decides they don’t like the president any more, they just elect a new one in a few years.  But Jesus has all authority and power in himself, and he reigns over everything.  In America, people pledge allegiance to the flag, but if you think back to the days of kings and queens, knights and bishops, rooks and pawns…wait that’s chess…if you think back to the days of kings and knights, the knights would swear their allegiance to the king himself.  They would kneel down before the king and offer to lay down their life for him.

We’re called to do the same with Jesus, to offer our very lives to serve him and his Kingdom.  But unlike the kings we read about in history books, in a surprising twist, our King has laid down his life for us first.  That calls for spreading this good news around the kingdom.  We need to put on our metaphorical medieval tights and go from town to town unrolling the scroll with the proclamation that Jesus is our King.

So what does that look like outside the metaphor?  We should be trying to bring every person we meet into a closer relationship with Jesus.  Most of the time that won’t involve being so direct as to be unrolling literal scrolls in front of the guy with the locker next to yours at school (literal tights optional), but we should meet people where they are, love and serve them with the love of Christ, and witness to them about what he has done in our lives and how great and loving a king he is.

For Christ’s kingship isn’t a matter of opinion like what the government should be doing with interest rates.  It’s a matter of fact, and it’s good news!  So hear ye, hear ye, whatever’s going on in the world at the moment, however messy politics get, Christ is still King and Jesus is still Lord, and that’s good news!

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