This message was offered at Wesley United Methodist Church (Culver, IN) on Sunday, November 25, 2012.
Today we celebrate the festival of Christ the King, or Reign of Christ. It is the last Sunday in the Christian year. Next week, we will begin to prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. In many ways we’re already preparing for Christmas. Some of you may have gone shopping on Black Friday. Some of us have already begun to decorate for the Christmas season (look for the giant inflatable penguin in the parsonage yard!). Today is a helpful reminder that at Christmas we get “more than a baby Jesus at Christmas; we have a sovereign Christ.” Today, we celebrate who Jesus is: he is LORD!
Gracious God, in the moments to come, give me the words to speak and they the ears to hear, that together we might learn and be inspired to live your Word in the world. Amen.
What is the Truth?
The primary definition in the dictionary states that truth is the “actual state of a matter.” Truth is an indisputable fact. You can deny the truth, but that does not make it any less true. The truth simply is.
In our gospel lesson for today, Pilate asks Jesus, “What is truth” (John 18:38a, Common English Bible)? If you read on in the narrative, you’ll find that Jesus never answers Pilate. He didn’t have to. Pilate was looking the Truth square in the eyes.
What is truth? The truth is…
Jesus is Lord!
It doesn’t matter whether you follow Jesus Christ or not. The truth is Jesus is Lord. Jesus Christ is King!
Now, let’s be honest. Lordship and kingdoms are not something we’re all that comfortable with. Our country (The United States of America) was founded, after all, in rebellion to a king.
Democracies [like ours] take for granted the dependability of those who govern… That is why checks and balances are built into [our] system; it is simply assumed that if one person gets too much power for too long, injustice is bound to arise. Such a person inevitably develops into a tyrant and corruption becomes an unalterable way of life.
But God, our Lord Jesus Christ, is not like earthly rulers. “God…is just and can be trusted completely. There is with God no abuse of power, no compromising with injustice, no secret ‘deals’ or oppressive tactics.” Jesus Christ is a just lord who
6 Though [Jesus] was in the form of God,
he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit.
7 But he emptied himself
by taking the form of a slave
and by becoming like human beings.
When he found himself in the form of a human,
8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God highly honored him
and gave him a name above all names,
10 so that at the name of Jesus everyone
in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow
11 and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus Christ is Lord! He is “the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5a, Common English Bible). He “loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, [he] made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and always. Amen (Revelation 1:5b-6, Common English Bible).
Jesus is Lord! It’s a simple statement that defines the very reality in which we all live (whether we follow Christ or not). It is a simple, three-word phrase that a child can learn. Theologians have debated it for nearly two millennia. But, you have to figure it out for yourself. It’s a simple truth that takes a lifetime (if not more) to live into.
Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” The Truth is Jesus is Lord. In what ways will you celebrate the Truth? In what ways will you live into the reality that Jesus Christ is Lord?
 “Festival of Christ the King” <http://www.gbod.org/site/pp.aspx?override=yes&sdate=20121125&edate=20121125&special=Christ%20the%20King%20Sunday&c=nhLRJ2PMKsG&b=3784683# > Accessed November 20, 2012.
 Laurence Hull Stookey, Calendar: Christ’s Time for the Church (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996), 139.
 Stookey, Calendar, 139.
 Philippians 2:6-11, Common English Bible.