Archive for November 26th, 2012

Whoever has the truth is a majority of one.  When Jesus stood before Pilate, the Lord spoke of His kingship.  We can say the following to understand His reign: 

  1. His reign, His kingdom is not of this world.  This clearly dispenses with dispensationalism:  the erroneous views that Jesus before the last last day will set up a 1,000-year reign on earth. Clearly, He taught that His kingdom is not from the world. Christ’s Kingdom is a heavenly Kingdom, coming into the world through the Door, Jesus Christ. The Door’s two hinges are His death and resurrection. They are opened by His grace to walk through by faith until that day when He comes again and we see Him who was pierced.
  2. His is the kingdom of truth.  Truth is His treasure and His treasure is the Word of God, the Word made flesh.  The material blessings we so urgently seek are temporal at best. We should not seek after that which the world regards as a high priority. Instead, we should strive for heavenly blessings. The Lord knows what we need but the world pursues what it does not need but lusts after what it wants which is more and more. This treasure rots.  His treasure, His grace, mercy and peace lasts and is eternal. The truth is apart from the Lord, we are lost and lone.  He has sought us, seeks us, and has found us. The truth is that in our sin, His law has found us out and in Jesus Christ, He has found us.  Seek ye first His kingdom, Jesus taught. 
  3.   His is the kingdom of confessing the truth.  Paul encouraged his fellow pastor Timothy to make his good confession.  Paul’s example is ours: Jesus Christ.  The word “confess” means to “say together”.  The Greek word is similar, to say the same thing.  Many say the same thing, There is one God after all.  But even the demons believe there is one God and tremble.  We confess His thoughts, Word and deed toward us. He is the lover of mankind.  We know His attitude towards us:  He hates the sin but ever loveth the sinner, men and women whom He created.  We know this by His Manger and Cross, by His blood through which “…He loves us has freed us from our sins” ( Revelation 1:5 )  This is our good confession.  We need to hear it.  Others need this witness and His Word is a light in dark places for family members, friends, colleagues, co-workers, fellow citizens.
  4.      His kingdom confessed is the contested reign.  Pilate dismissed Jesus with his question, What is truth.  “The Church that would give only a moral tone to secular movements can die of its own starvation”, preached Roman Catholic Bishiop, Fulton J. Sheen, the first televangelist (!)  With the rise of fascism, materialism and communism in the 1920s in Europe, the Bishop of Rome, Pope Pius XI declared that the last Sunday after Pentecost be the Feast of Christ the King to counter-act this strident rule of secularism.  Many Lutherans follow a feast day instituted by a pope!  The Bishop wrote tellingly:  “…if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights.” The Church is the colony of heaven, of His Kingdom.  The world does not trust the Church’s diplomatic credentials, which is the Cross.  The Lord promised that those of the truth will hear His voice.
  5. His kingdom is the Kingdom of His Cross. “Since it is not a kingdom of this world, it is, then a kingdom of the cross. Instead, (His Christians) lie hidden under the cross and are secretly hidden from the the spite of the enemy, as David says in Ps. 31…” “(The Church) should not seek worldy goods, temporal benefits and external fortune”, so preached Rev. Prof. Johann Gerhard.  We preach Christ and Him crucified ( 1 Corinthians 1:23 ).  The preaching and teaching is of Jesus Christ.  The Sacrament of Baptism is centered on His death and resurrection:    “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6: 1ff)       As is the Sacrament of Holy Communion:  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11: 26) All so that men and women may know of there forgiveness, full and free. 

His reign, His kingdom is not of this world. 

His is the kingdom of truth.

His is the kingdom of confessing the truth

His kingdom confessed is the contested reign

His kingdom is the Kingdom of His Cross. 

Finally, we are baptized, from the very youngest to the very oldest, into His Kingdom to serve Him, the King who became a peasant. He served us by His Incarnation and serves us still at His Royal Table His Body and Blood. Beginning with Thanksgiving through Christmas, we are in the “comfort food” season.  Just think of how certain foods connect us to our past, the way say, cranberries were done, like my grandmother in-laws cranberry chutney.  His Body and His Blood, in bread and wine, we taste and see that the Lord is good.  This is comfort food so that the journey will not overwhelm us until we see Him face to face.

 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

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