Christ the King Sunday

Last Sunday After Pentecost/Christ the King/Year B


2 Samuel 23: 1-7; Psalm 132:1-13 (14-19); Revelation 1:4b-8; John 18:33-37

He is King of Kings

King of kings, Lord of Lords, thrones, kingdoms, Jesus Christ, ruler of the kings of the earth…

All this talk about Kings and kingdoms….may seem a little strange to us today…or maybe not…maybe you keep close watch on the royal family…especially since our presiding Bishop Michael Curry preached at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last spring…or perhaps you have been an avid follower of the Game of Thrones, a long-running HBO TV series, a medieval fantasy epic….that tells the story of two powerful families…kings, queens, knights, and others, seeking power and control of the seven kingdoms of Westeros…or perhaps you can think of several childhood stories about kings and queens, princes and princesses…even Mr Roger’s neighborhood, included a storyline, using a puppet named King Friday…

I’m wondering…how much we notice, that almost all of these stories: the medieval fantasy epics, the many stories about kings and kingdoms, the children’s stories, include themes of the bad guys vs the good guys, the powerful vs the weak, the rich vs the poor, the beautiful vs the ugly, the ascent of control for one group…vs the descent or disappearance of another group…

These are all earthly depictions, and visions of what Kings and kingdoms are all about… with earthly kings ruling and lording themselves over all the people, forcing people to conform, or get out of the way…forcing them to obey, just because the king says so…

Today, on the last Sunday after Pentecost, our liturgical church year comes to an end…with our scriptures and music pointing us to a very different vision of what Kings and kingdoms are all about…more specifically…with the pronouncement and acknowledgement that Jesus is King…King of kings, and Lord of lords…

But this King and his kingdom, we are told, does not originate from this world…This King, and his kingdom, is one whose purpose is to testify to the truth…

IN our gospel reading today, Pilate questions Jesus about being king:

Pilate questions Jesus (CEB)

Pilate went back into the palace. He summoned Jesus and asked,

 “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own or have others spoken to you about me?”

Pilate responded, “I’m not a Jew, am I? Your nation and its chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?”

Jesus replied, “My kingdom doesn’t originate from this world. If it did, my guards would fight so that I wouldn’t have been arrested by the Jewish leaders. My kingdom isn’t from here.”

“So you are a king?” Pilate said.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king.


King is your word not mine;

Friend I am, and not very choosey,

pagans and prostitutes,

publicans and sinners,

grace is my kingdom.

King is your word, not mine;

Servant I am, no one beneath me,

feet washer and waiter,

serving the least,

love is my kingdom


King is your word, not mine;

Physician I am, all free of charge,

touching the leper,

expelling the demons,

health is my kingdom.


King is your word, not mine;

A seer I am, seeing God’s word

in mustard seed and yeast,

wildflower and ravens,

truth is my kingdom.


*King is your word, not mine;

Tradesman I am, honing my craft,

familiar with wood,

hammer and nails,

grace is my kingdom.

                                    ©  B.D. Prewer 2002

Jesus answered Pilate, “You say that I am a king.

*(King is your word, not mine)

I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.”

Go ahead, and call me King, if you want…

But, know…that in this kingdom:

The truth of God’s love, made known to us in Jesus Christ,

is proclaimed here…a kingdom of love, healing, forgiveness, mercy, and grace…


IN this kingdom:

the laws are based on love…

IN this kingdom:

We seek to love God, as we have been truly loved by God…

IN this kingdom:

We seek to love our neighbors, as we ourselves want to be loved…

IN this kingdom:

We are called to be good stewards of all creation…

In this kingdom, we remember the promises we made in our baptisms:

  • that we will continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers…with God’s help

  • that we will persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever we fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord…with God’s help

  • that we will proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ… with God’s help

  • that we will seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves… with God’s help

  • · that we will strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being…with God’s help

IN this kingdom, people are invited, not forced…people are welcomed, not discriminated against… people gather together…to build up one another, encourage one another, becoming beloved community….

Probably one of the most important things we can seek to understand about this kingdom, that we proclaim is under the gracious rule of Jesus Christ, King of kings, Lord of lords…is that it isn’t a specific place, where we all come to be ruled over by an all-powerful, almighty king and leader..

It is an invitation to walk in love, as Christ has loved us, and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God…

It is an invitation to walk in love with Christ and one another, throughout our entire lives…until, as we pray each week in the Lord’s prayer…(God’s) will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…

As we come to the end of this church year, it’s a good time to reflect back on the past year…what kind of King have you been following this past year?

And, as we prepare to begin a new church year, on the first Sunday of Advent…will you turn once again, and accept the invitation to walk with Jesus…King of kings, Lord of lords?

He (Jesus) is King of kings,

            He is Lord of Lords;

            Jesus Christ, the first and last, (the Alpha and the Omega)…

            who is and who  was and who is to come….Amen


Closing Song: Lift Every Voice and Sing II - #96 He Is King of Kings

Rev Julie Platson, Rector

St Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church

Sitka, Alaska