Last day of the liturgical year (which means Advent next week - ulp!) and also baptisms in both churches.
But here's my go at it!
Christ the King (John 18:33-37, Revelation 1: 4b- 8)
I wonder if you’ve ever been asked what you think God looks like?
I love the story of the little 8 year old, busy drawing away, who was asked by his teacher ‘what are you drawing?’.
‘I’m drawing God’ he answered.
‘But no-one knows what God looks like’ said the teacher
to which the boy replied, ‘They will when I’ve finished!’.
Trying to describe or draw, or even talk about God is very difficult. But somewhere in there you would want to include some kind of ‘Wow’ factor.
The book of Revelation is the very last book of the Bible, and is an account of a series of visions to one man, John of Patmos. In writing down these visions, John tries to describe how amazing God is.
In the reading we heard, he describes God as the one who was and is and is to come, and calls Jesus ‘the ruler of all the kings of the earth’. In our hymns, Jesus is often called the king of kings.
I don’t know if you saw any of the pictures of the Queen at Ely & in Cambridge on Thursday – or at the opening of Parliament on Friday, but it was pretty impressive – amazing cars and coaches, fine fabrics and fur, gold & crowns… and John is saying that Jesus is the King who is better than all that – everywhere in the world!
That’s quite a ‘wow’.
But here today we’ve seen something else that makes me go ‘wow’ – we’ve seen the young life (lives) of Leah
(of Molly & Mabel) celebrated and we’ve heard God’s promise that every young person (and every old one, come to that) is a child of God. New babies are always pretty amazing anyway, aren’t they, & God loves every one, every child, each one of us – we’re precious. wow!
In the Gospel reading we heard Pilate, the Roman governor, questioning Jesus just before he is killed – and Pilate is trying hard to understand what sort of king Jesus is. Is he the sort of king who has an army who will come to try to rescue him? Jesus says, no ‘my kingdom is not from this world’ – Jesus is king of everything, not just a little country of the world, and he has come to earth to show us that God is with us. He will allow Pilate’s soldiers to take him and kill him, so that he can show us how much God loves us – and so that God’s great power can raise him from death.
Pilate can’t understand – to him kings are powerful and don’t allow anyone else to push them around.
But we can try to understand – because soon we will start to get ready for Christmas, when we remember that Jesus is the king who gave up his kingdom to be born as a tiny baby in Bethlehem.
Here’s another ‘wow’ moment – God come to earth, not as a great king but as a little scrap of humanity – so that we can know God’s love.
God comes to us in Jesus – the king who is greater than any king or queen we could ever know – but who instead of traveling around in a great coach or a vintage Bentley walked alongside normal people. Jesus the king is also an ordinary man, to teach us that God loves ordinary people.
God loves each one of us as a precious child of God – from royalty right up to each one of us here today.
So let’s celebrate the love of Jesus the King – today and forever. Amen.