We live in an era of deconstructing authority—spiritual, political, and societal. Some of this is the result of generations nursed on the education of critical thinking. Most of it is the result of a progressively globalized existence now entirely entrenched in the “world wild web.” Many who are over forty can remember a time when information, news, and morals were distributed by the encyclopedia, the newspaper, and the local pastor. Now, with so many sources for fact-checking and comparison, it is almost impossible to take anything at face value.
This is not necessarily negative as much as it is just the reality of where we are now. Historically, major and important shifts in culture have followed seasons of authority deconstruction. But with this bucking of authority, it can be difficult for modern readers to wrap their minds around the idea of Jesus as the ruler of the kings of the earth or seated on a throne. After all, we have seen kingdom-rulers and throne-sitters do terrible things from their positions of power. How do we separate what we’ve known and experienced at the hands of power-abusers from the way Christ is portrayed in the language of the New Testament?
I try to consider in these instances that the kingdom of God is for all people. The throne of God governs in favor of the last and the least. The cabinet of God is made up of those who need one another. The crown of God is a symbol of shared pain and sacrifice for others. The motorcade of God was a borrowed donkey. The platform of God invites the government to rest upon God’s shoulders. The rank of God is Prince of Peace. And the reign of God is co-creation with the world that God loves forever and ever. May we take time today to remember and recognize that the rule of God is love.
Holy King, who entered this world in meekness and vulnerability, help us rest in the faithfulness of your great love for us, that we may feel safe to be citizens of your good kingdom. Amen.
Second Samuel records the final words of David. David takes comfort in the covenant that God has made with his family, which must be continued by kings who will honor God and rule justly. The psalmist sings of this same covenant with David’s family and the same necessity to follow God’s decrees in order to rule well. Revelation opens with a vision of Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant, the King to rule over all kings for all time. Many expected Jesus to set up a political kingdom. Yet in John, Jesus tells Pilate that his kingdom is not an earthly one. This week let us thank God that the kingdom is based not on the exercise of power but on Jesus’ example of serving others.
Read 2 Samuel 23:1-7. What characteristics would you include in a description of a just leader? Where do you see those characteristics in world leaders today?
Read Psalm 132:1-18. What is your vision of Paradise? Who will be seated at the table with you?
Read Revelation 1:4b-8. How do you bear witness to the “Alpha and the Omega”?
Read John 18:33-37. What is your understanding of what it means to live in God’s kingdom?
Respond by posting a prayer.
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