I have to chuckle every time I listen to my 4-year-old try to explain something. Whether it be something that happened, a story she made up, or even just something that she wants to do, she says it in such a way that it makes me laugh. Not because she uses funny language or talks about funny things, but mostly because I have no idea what she is trying to say. I’m sure it makes sense in her own head, but her mispronounced and/or misused words, her being distracted sometimes halfway through a sentence, or how strings thoughts together with “so… so…. so…” even when it is completely unnecessary or unrelated, it makes it very difficult to interpret what she is trying to convey to us.
I should say that there are times when it is easier than others, and that is when I try to understand the context of what she is saying. Then when she says something like, “I guess a gog” when she is playing with a toy dog, that she actually means “I want a dog”. Or when she says “I berry sow you” while holding my hand and taking me somewhere that she is trying to say, “I want to show you something”.
Language is a funny thing. It could stand between us and truly understanding what is being said and wanted to be conveyed.
There seems to be a huge disconnect between Pilot and Jesus in this well known story. Pilot keeps accusing Jesus of being a king, perhaps one who has an army ready to attack or somehow a threat to the Roman empire. And Jesus continues to confirm that he is a king, but not in the way we of the world would understand to be a king.
Christ’s kingship is one of glory, power, and might, just as we would expect. But our expectation is glory from riches, power from authority and intimidation, and might from strength and militaristic might. That is how we would see a king after all.
But Christ’s kingship is different. His glory comes from humility and service. His power comes from faith in God’s truth and promises. His might come from compassion and love.
We use the term “king” because that is the best way to describe his rule over our hearts, his influence in our paradigms of the world, and his eternal dynasty throughout our communities and congregations. But Jesus is not a “king” as a threat to other kingdoms, or plans to gain more by invading other lands, or builds himself up that all will bow to him. Rather Jesus is a king through his welcome to all people, his forgiveness offered to everyone, and his sacrificial love extended to you, to me, and to all who live, have ever lived, and ever will live.
This is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. The one who started it all and will be there when it is finished. Our God. Our Saviour. Our King.
Thanks be to God. Have a great week, everyone!