What is “His Encouragement?”
Thursdays are always a really long day of the week for me. Since I’m a pastor, Sunday feels like the natural beginning to my week. By the time I get to Thursday, I am tired and drained. That’s why I’m excited to join with a group of blogging friends in order to offer you a weekly devotional which will be posted every Thursday. We are calling the series, “His Encouragement.”
It is my prayer that these words of encouragement inspired by scripture will help to carry you through the rest of your week My prayer is that this weekly series will be a much needed reminder that God loves you.
Christ the King Sunday
“The spirit of the Lord speaks through me, his word is upon my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken, the Rock of Israel has said to me: 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 23:2-4
Full Lectionary Reading: 2 Samuel 23:1-7
This past Sunday, we celebrated Christ the King Sunday. It is the Sunday in the church calendar when we take a moment to pause before the season of preparation that is advent. During advent, we prepare our hearts for the coming of the birth of the baby Jesus. On Christ the King Sunday, we carve out special time to remember the fact that the same baby who was born on Christmas was also the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and Prince of Peace.
When Christ came as a baby in a manager, he redefined the very notion of kingship. When the people imagined a King, they pictured a mighty king like David. Today’s scripture reading comes from the famous last words of King David, who was one of the ancestors of Jesus.
King David is thought by many to have been the most important King of Israel. If you are familiar with the Biblical text, you might know David as the same young man who defeated Goliath, the mighty giant (1 Samuel 17). Later, he grew up to replace King Saul as God’s anointed one and to rule over the Kingdom of Israel. Despite David’s many great deeds, he was not without his faults. You may also recall the story of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11).
David was not a perfect King, but he was a great servant of the Lord. He was such a mighty ruler that God made a covenant with David and promised that a member of his bloodline would always sit on the throne of Israel. This promise is known as the Davidic Covenant.
David and Bathsheba’s son, Solomon, eventually came to rule the Kingdom of Israel; however, even he was not as great a ruler as his father had been. After Solomon’s rule, the Kingdom of Israel began a slow and steady decline. In time, Israel split into the northern and southern kingdoms and was eventually conquered by Assyrian and Babylonian invaders.
So what happened to God’s promise? God had promised David that one of his descendants would always sit on the throne of Israel (2 Samuel 7). On Christ the King Sunday, we remember that God’s time is not our time. God keeps all of God’s promises.
God eventually sent a King even mightier than David. This King was one of David’s own descendants. However, unlike David, he did not have all the trappings of outward power and might. This new King was born to an unwed mother and had only a feed trough to use as his bed. His birth was heralded by lowly shepherds instead of mighty courtiers.
This King would not slay a physical giant as his ancestor David had done before him; instead, he would conquer death itself. And later, when this King was crowned, it would be with a crown of thorns.
This tiny baby, born in a lowly cattle stall, was greater when than the lightest King Israel had ever seen. He was greater even than King David.
David thought that this new type of King was so important that he prophesied His birth with his very last words. As we prepare for a busy advent season full of holiday preparations, it is my hope that you will join with me in rejoicing at the birth of not only a baby in a manger, but the coming of one who redefined the very meaning of Kingship.
This Christ the King Sunday (and always!) we rejoice that Christ is the King of Kings!
Please be sure to check out the other great bloggers involved in the His Encouragement weekly series!