“My kingdom is not from this world”, Jesus tells Pilate in today’s gospel (John 18:36). This Sunday, the last in the church year, is commonly known as “Christ the King Sunday”, or “The Reign of Christ”. If Jesus’ kingdom is not from this world, what does it mean in this world? In the epistle, taken from Revelation, we’re told that Jesus is “ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5). In our first reading, the last words of David, we are told that “One who rules over people justly, ruling in the fear of God, is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land” (2 Samuel 23:3-4). All this talking about kings and kingship is a bit strange for those of us living in a republic founded on the rejection of kings!
I’m not sure I know what to think about Christ’s kingdom: it’s not from this world, but this world is the only one I know. The multiple metaphors around the idea of Christ’s kingship suggest it’s one that many have struggled over. When I read about the light of the morning, I know it is a kingdom I wish for. It is simultaneously not from this world, but one we seek to build in this world. So today I have no bright ideas, just a question to ponder. What does it mean for you that Christ is King, that we are living in the reign of Christ? What do you differently because of that? How can we feel the light of morning? What are we doing to build the kingdom?