Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson
Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King
Kings are more than cards in a deck or pieces on a chessboard. We know them as the linchpins for many an historical account and their lives intersect with those of many revered saints. As time passed, they gradually changed from being staunch persecutors of Christianity to royal purveyors of it.
While we proudly live in a democratic republic, many of us remain fascinated by anyone who wears the crown in other nations. Here at home, the title can denote a chief company executive or a country’s heroic founder; a master spirit, or an otherwise noteworthy person, at least of superior importance.
Recall when Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, amid the tension of their Good Friday encounter, whether or not He was a king. Jesus answered with another question: “Is this your opinion or have others told you of
Me?” This followed by a reassurance to the nervous procurator: “My kingdom is not here.”
So we know He is a king by His own strong admission. As we believe Jesus unconditionally, it is easy for us to add to today’s feast its complete title for Christ, namely “King of the Universe.” A corollary of that last has to be that His coming judgment of us all on the Last Day is momentous. We should be keenly aware of how to get ready.
Like so many aspects of our relationship with God, that readiness is simple: habitual practice of good deeds done to our neighbor. And this presumably from a pure and loving heart. That’s it. No need to make read- iness more complex. Look no further.
As we gather this week around the family table for our annual American Thanksgiving Day, there are myri- ad reasons to think and thank before we eat. One of the major ones is to remind ourselves that Jesus our Lord, our King, is loyal to, and loving of us, His sisters and brothers. All He asks is our return of the favor.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton, the great British writer, philosopher and lay theologian once wrote this: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
God love you and give you His peace!