Crowning Christ as King
Jesus’s crown was a twisted laurel wreath of thorns. In his suffering he is revealed as king, though not the king either the people around him expected or we want today. He is not a king like the kings of this world. He is not going to conquer you. He is not going to destroy you. He is not going to enslave or subjugate you.
Christ is a king whose rule is love. He is not like the kings of our world. He does not conquer but sets you free. He does not destroy but heals. He does not enslave or subjugate, but instead he gives you an identity, makes you a sibling to himself, a child of his Father, and the resources of the kingdom. He does not give you shackles but a mission.
Jesus gave his body for the world. He offered his death to eradicate our sins and open the way for us to live as children of God, life-bringers, light-bearers, and breach-healers.
Baptism is our being born into his Rule, a rebirth into a new person with a new family, God’s family. The Communion is both a remembering of who we are and whose we are as we gather at our Father’s table to eat together and pray and be sent out into the world.
This week we will gather again at God’s table and offer our pledges up as part of our worship. Last week, as part of Seabury Sunday, we had the kirking of the tartans, an old act of offering up family plaids on the altar table as a way of pledging traditional clans to God and fidelity to the church. I may be a bit Scottish according to my DNA test, but I have no clan to offer. Instead we pledge our fidelity to the church in our pledge.
We make concrete our promise to God and this community that we will live our faith life here and be a part of the mission of this Christ’s Church of the Ascension. That is ancient and beautiful and life-giving.
I know it can feel like a mere obligation to pledge, but it is more than that. We bring our faithfulness to God as part of our worship and identity. We embody the promise of faithfulness in the pledge, but we live it out in our giving, prayers, service to others, and making this church a place of God’s Rule of Love.
No one person since Jesus is called to walk the way of love alone. We walk together, a family, a community, a little piece of the Kingdom of our King.