Lincoln’s Log 11-25-12
“Christ has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence nor usurped, but his by essence and by nature.”
Cyril of Alexandria
Pilate said to Jesus, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.”
What a strange answer…
Today we celebrate the feast of Jesus Christ the King. It is a relatively recent feast for the universal church, instituted by Pius XI in 1925. It is a feast which marks clarifies where our ultimate loyalty as Christians belongs. We are members of a nation, but fundamentally we are members of the Kingdom of God and Christ is our King. As we end the liturgical year, we celebrate the kingship of Christ. Jesus is Lord!
So why doesn’t Jesus come right out and say, “Yes, I am a King!” Why the complicated answer?
I believe Jesus is trying to redefine what it means to be a king. Jesus is not like Caesar (the king Pilate would have compared him too). Jesus knows that most kingdoms are based on conquest and violence. Power is usually held through the use of force. “Might makes right” is the rule for most kingdoms.
Jesus’ kingdom is different. Jesus’ Kingdom is based on the force of truth. Right has its own might. The power of truth may be hard to perceive. Truth’s power is quiet. It is a power that liberates rather than dominates. Truth can appear fragile, but its power subtly overcomes the world. Jesus is the truth. He witnesses to the truth. His is a Kingdom of Truth.
Jesus’ strange answer to Pilate’s question in today’s Gospel challenges us to see how His Kingdom is different than the kingdoms of the world. May we always live as citizens of Jesus’ Kingdom.
Lincoln A. Wood