“My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight
so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind
of king”. Then Pilate said, “So, are you a king or not?” Jesus answered, “You tell me. Because I am King,
I was born and entered the world so that I could witness to the truth. Everyone who cares for truth,
who has any feeling for the truth, recognises my voice”. (John 18: 36 – 37)
In History of the World: Part One, Mel Brooks, playing Louis XVI, had a running gag: “It’s good to be
the king”. It implied that the king was free to do whatever he wanted, wherever he wanted, and
however he wanted to do it. Funny? Maybe. Historical? Not at all. What he really was describing was
a despot or a dictator, not a good king. In reality, a good king was more like who Arthur grew to
become in the movie Excaliber, a person who reflected the strength and beauty of the people during
good times and the limitations and weaknesses when things weren’t going well. Without the consent
and hearts of the people, a king dominates with force and fear only.
Today we proudly proclaim Christ as our king. That means we freely take up the task of being loving,
kind, and compassionate so as to reflect those qualities of Jesus. Jesus does not force himself upon us.
We listen to him. We know that his message is true, and so we respond. And in so doing we help him
create a Kingdom that will not be destroyed, a Kingdom of hope, and a Kingdom of justice for all. And
the more that we live out our faith, the greater the grandeur of Christ our King will be revealed to the
world. It is an awesome responsibility and partnership that we share.