Friday, April 03, 2009

The King

The Invitation to Prayer
The practice of paying attention is as simple as looking twice at people and things you might just as easily ignore. To see takes time, like having a friend takes time. It is as simple as turning off the television to learn the song of a single bird. Why should anyone do such things? I cannot imagine – unless one is weary of crossing days off the calendar with no sense of what makes the last day different from the next . . . The practice of paying attention offers no quick fix for such weariness . . . Instead it is one way into a different way of life, full of treasure for those who are willing to pay attention to exactly where they are (Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World, 33).

The Psalm (Psalm 100)
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

The Scripture Reading (Luke 23:38-43)
There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

For Reflection
Those who look upon Jesus with curiosity and hostility regard his Kingship as a joke; a charge posted above his head to broadcast his shame. But those who look to Jesus out of their own desperate need see his Kingship as their only hope. The man next to Jesus who saw himself as he truly was also had the capacity to see Jesus as he truly was: Jesus is King and he rules over a Kingdom. The self-satisfied and demanding onlookers missed this entirely.

What does Jesus’ kingship mean to you?

Closing Prayer
Lord Jesus, we seem to know you best when life is at its worst: when our need is inescapable and our true condition can no longer be excused or disguised. In our humility we know you in your glory. You are indeed our King, governing all things for our good. We turn to you in humble and thankful trust today. Amen.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

Thinking about what Jesus’ kingship means to me opened my eyes to something. I’ve always viewed the crucifixion as something unthinkably horrible done TO Jesus. But it’s slowly beginning to sink in that He orchestrated the whole thing! Talk about the power of humility. He could have gotten out of it, but He didn’t choose to! Now that’s behavior worthy of being a called King!

It’s easy for me in retrospect to be very self righteous and say I would never have been part of that jeering crowd. That I would have been incensed by the proceeding and indignantly protested the whole thing. But sadly, I would probably been right there with the rest of the crowd, egging the Roman soldiers on. But don’t you wish you could have seen that crowd’s face on the 3rd day?! There’s a popular expression today “…wait for it…wait for it”. That day on Calvary may have been the ultimate “Wait for it!