Encountering a King! - 18/11/22


I can’t be the only vicar preparing to think about Christ the King, whose mind automatically springs forward to the pending Coronation of Charles III in 2023.  Whilst it would be tempting to start thinking about all of the things that we should and could do to celebrate with our nation and pray for our new king, my own challenge this particular weekend is actually to prepare resources and teaching for our Young Church.  My memory of these sorts of things in the past is that we easily default to just making crowns – but I wonder if that’s the right thing to do?

When people think of kings and rulers, of great leaders, they often think of either the great men and women they learned about at school, or those they have learned about on the news.  The challenge for the Church, is that we follow a king that does not conform to earthly expectations or role models of kingship, of what it means to lead and rule, and that is both difficult but also wonderfully inspiring.

Christ the King, as we keep the feast day this Sunday (20th November) is a day when we remember that the first step of leadership and power, is to serve.    As we shall sing in our service:

From heav’n you came, helpless babe,
entered our world, your glory veil’d,
Not to be served, but to serve,
and give Your life that we might live.

This is our God, the servant King,
he calls us now to follow him,
to bring our lives as a daily offering
of worship to the Servant King.

How do we go about both teaching that to our youngest members and modelling it to the world? If I am honest, I think we mostly get it wrong.  The church is a powerful institution, of which our Priory is a part.  Leaders in the parish are also powerful people, myself especially.  So I am very glad of the opportunity to be taking the time to serve our youngest members this Sunday morning, and it makes me wonder if the stereotypical craft activity of having children make crowns for Christ the King might miss the point.  I wonder if, perhaps, you might take a moment to ask them (over post-church coffee) what they have discovered it really means for Christ to be our King, if it’s more than just wearing a crown.