Thy KINGdom come.



My name, Raj, means "King" in sanskrit or hindi.

I never really paid much attention to it growing up, to me it was sometimes cool to have a unique name, sometimes frustrating.

But at this point in my life, I reflect on the name my parents chose for me, and it is extremely humbling. Part of me wonders if I could ever live up to my very own name.

Yesterday, as a Universal Church, we celebrated the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Yesterday, on the very last Sunday of our liturgical year, how fitting is it that we look toward the ruler of all lives - for at the end of time, all will know the glory of the Sovereign Lord...

At a live event, Matisyahu, the Orthodox Jewish musician, described in his intro to his song "King Without A Crown" that a TRUE KING is a king who would be willing to go out into the battlefield and defend his people. His courage and sacrifice is what motivates his other soldiers to fight alongside him. The king loved his people, and would give his all including his very own life for love of them.

That is the Kingship of Christ. A king so madly in love with each and everyone of us, that he humbled himself, entered the battlefield, and died for us.

The irony, though, is that Jesus came at a time when the notion of King was that of someone who didn't live for the people. At that point in history, the kings were tyrants. The Jewish people were looking for a powerful King of their own to battle against the Romans. However, this was not God's plan. Many turned their backs on Christ because of this - others refused to even believe the possibility that this humble man was a King.

Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here." So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world,to testify to the truth (John 18:33b, 36-37)".

Jesus knew the oppressive nature of secular kings and, in contrast to them, he connected his role as king to humble service, and commanded his followers to be servants as well. In other passages of Scripture, his kingdom is tied to his suffering and death. While Christ is coming to judge the nations, his teachings spell out a kingdom of justice and judgment balanced with radical love, mercy, peace, and forgiveness. When we celebrate Christ as King, we are not celebrating an oppressive ruler, but one willing to die for humanity and whose "loving-kindness endures forever". Christ is the king that gives us true freedom, freedom in Him. Thus we must never forget that Christ radically redefined and transformed the concept of kingship.

It is this same concept of kingship that so many people find it hard to believe in our world today. A ruler of our hearts? People balk at that idea. Power comes in love? "Yea, right!" they say. But Christ calls us to leave behind the notions of this world, and gaze towards heaven, because that is where the true treasures of royalty lie.

What more? He calls us to share in that kingship, and inherit the kingdom. We, too, must live as kings. Rulers of humility and service, ready to lay our lives down for all His people. Will it be easy? No. Remember, Christ's kingship was mocked unto His death. We, too, will be mocked and hated and fought when we try and bring the Kingdom of God to the slaves of this world. It is only by living for the true Kingdom while on Earth, that we will be crowned Kings in Heaven.

No cross, no crown.

Is it tough living up to my name? Maybe. Sometimes it is tougher living up to my baptism. But that's what we all must be seeKING.

Be Kings.
Be The King's.

"Then the king will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me."
Matthew 25:34-36