Here we are at Christ the King. Every Sunday the Church reads a piece from the gospel. A very large part of the worldwide church reads the same portion of Scripture on the same day, so Christians across the world and across denominations are on this same page with us. Together we travel through one gospel in a year. All this year we have read from the Gospel of Mark, augmented as this week, with John. This is the last Sunday of the church year, the climax of the year, on which we celebrate Christ our king. The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty; he is girded with strength (Psalm 93) This king is on his way. The gospel of Mark tells us Keep awake for you do not know when the master of the house will come… so he does not find you asleep, I say Keep Awake! We Christians have been made sentries. We are on duty here on the ramparts, looking out for our king. We also have to keep a look out for all threats represented by all the various pretend-kings who make their claims on us. We have to give warning to the nation when it takes their claims too seriously. This is why we Christians are here.
Our gospel is from Mark. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10.45).
Week by week we have been walking through the gospel of Mark, following the disciples and peering over their shoulders to see the Lord and catch his words. This Mark’s word for us this week. Of course you are not limited to this little piece of the gospel that we have just heard. As soon as you get home you can read on. Pick up this Gospel of Mark for yourself and see here he comes lowly, riding on a donkey. What was it last week? All these commandments have I kept from my youth. Then go and sell all you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven and anyone who has left home and family for me will receive a hundred times again. The week before that it was: Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will have no part of it. You cannot take your own bit of the kingdom by force. You to receive meekly and gladly that bit of the kingdom that you are given. What is the gospel going to be next week? Bartimaeus – Teacher, teach me to see again. Amen, Lord teach us to see again. Week by week we walk through the bible, learning to see again. We follow the disciples and apostles, and they follow the Lord. Through this gospel we can watch the Lord coming to his people to release them from all the kings of this world. We can watch the passion of the Lord, which is our passion, that he has taken for us, through trial and flogging and crucifixion through battle to victory and triumph. The ‘kings’ of this world want us to insist that we serve them and we work for them. But the true king is coming, back to his own vineyard, because he has heard the prayers and appeals of those long in captivity. But He shall call me and I shall answer him… I will rescue him and show him my salvation – that is this week’s psalm, psalm 91. So the Lord returns to judge the wicked masters who had grabbed control of the vineyard and so long been exploiting the little ones in it.