Posts Tagged ‘King’

If you thought the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton was a extravagant affair, just wait until the next royal or papal coronation. I reviewed the YouTube footage of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953: thousands and thousands and tens of thousands . . .

Revelation 5:11, 13
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. . . . Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To [the one] who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

This is the picture I imagine as John describes his vision of the throne, the lamb, the living creatures, the elders, and the angels, all singing, all joining voices in adulation. For John to be able to describe this picture, he is somehow separate from it, like a television camera. He is not in the event nor part of the event. He is an observer, a witness of a unique sort, a reporter.

Here in the United States, it is outside our ken. We have well attended inaugurations and there is a type of pomp but nothing on the order of Great Britain’s royalty. And now, with modern television, the numbers who are watching have multiplied exponentially. It is as though the the entire earth can witness these events.

This “heavenly” coronation image is the only way John can wrap his mind around and give image or voice to the importance of the moment. The Christ, who entered human form and by God-given power, was able to propitiate (satisfy or atone) for a previously made agreement or covenant that Human made with God and then broke.

This is not the stuff of soccer and Facebook, football and Miss America. This has to do with the fabric of creation outside of our three-dimensional sensibilities.

John did the best he could with what he knew.

In today’s world, we have other visionaries and artists who try to imagine or conceptualize this non-dimensional place or rather, an actuality. But we fall short. Instead, we have our own versions of celebrations and weddings and coronations in an attempt to capture the importance and wonder of a vow, a promise, a covenant, a new identity, a new responsibility.

Why do we have ceremony? Why do you? What is the message?

Read Full Post »

Peter is quite concerned about authority, whether it’s in reaction to his own or it’s the culture in which he lives. In any case, his beloved Jesus submitted to human authority too. Do we?

I Peter 2:17
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood [family] of believers, fear [reverence] God, honor the king [emperor].

What is the meaning of authority in our lives? What is authority? In some cultures, it’s inherited, in others, it’s traditional, and still others, it’s won through battle.

I’d say respect for authority in Western culture is at an all time low. Certainly, there is little “positional” authority – that is, respect for the position (police, politician, principal, teacher, doctor, judge, or president) and not particularly the person. If anything, people are looking for opportunities to bring down respect. There may be a grudging respect initially, but a wrong statement or misstep of judgment, and the person is dragged through the press or gossip mill.

Some people say “respect should be earned.” I understand this point of view, but I’m wondering if we, and that is cultural we, haven’t taken this doctrine too far. Can we expect others to constantly prove themselves worthy, only to make a mistake and lose all that has gone before.

On the other hand, those who are in positions of authority today seem to have lost something vital to commanding respect. Our society has become so jaded that the tenets of honesty, authenticity, trust, character, and commitment have stretched beyond our grasp.

It must be old-fashioned to want to believe in the vows of marriage, the truth of law, the honesty of leaders, and the greater good. It’s Pollyanna-ish.

Faith has a measure of authority as well and although some can embrace that easily others will not and never will without divine intervention. If God is sovereign, then God has ultimate authority over everything. Face it, that’s not always easy to swallow in a world that challenges the existence of such things: entropy is all around us as well as violence, greed, self-aggrandizement, and disloyalty.

How does one show respect in this day and age? What does it look like? Who deserves it?

Read Full Post »


When the Temple was destroyed in Jerusalem (70 AD), as much as I understand such things, the high priesthood dissolved for the Jews. And yet, the Christians, both East and West, have carried forward a similar hierarchy through the institution of Popes, Bishops, and Patriarchs, but none after the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 5:1, 5a, 6
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men [and women] in things relating to God, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. . . . So too Christ (the Messiah) did not exalt Himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed . . . As He says also in another place, You are a Priest [appointed] forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.

I confess, I’m not the best one to write or discuss authority structures in the Church. I’m a bit of libertarian in those circles and not well versed in its history. But I do understand that one of the key roles of the Messiah is his Melchizedekian inheritance: he is both High Priest and King. He is both judge and mercy-giver. He can make the laws and forgive us for breaking those laws. He is Human and Spirit, King and Priest; Christ is paradoxical.

Melchizedek, priest and King of Salem (Jerusalem), lived in the time of Abram, 2000 BCE. And this role has been assigned to the Christ to come.

But what do we know of Kings in our age? Who do we have to model this role? What do we learn from the kings and queens of Great Britain (and their protectorates) or the Kings of Belgium, Sweden, or Norway, or the absolute monarchs of Saudi Arabia, Oman, or Qatar? [Incidentally, the Pope is also considered the absolute monarch of Vatican City.]

There are a zillion protocols for approaching a Royal, such as bowing, curtseying, proper address, proper distance, and so forth. Do I imagine King Jesus in this way? I usually ignore this perspective, don’t you?

And on the High Priest side, my only exposure to priests has been local Catholics and Episcopalians who are generally laid back around town and wouldn’t expect me to bend and kiss a ring or insist on addressing them as Father or Brother. That’s not to say the same for the “higher” priests. The protocols for the Pope, bishops, and patriarchs are equally submissive and quite extensive. Do I imagine Priest Jesus in this way? Not really.

None of these human examples of high priests or kings give much meaning to my Messiah-King. But isn’t some of that my own fault?

Are we all too casual in this day and age? Have we gotten too comfortable with our mauve carpeting and coffee club church services? Have we spent too much time humanizing Jesus/God (e.g. paintings of the laughing Jesus) or emphasizing his gentleness (drawing of Jesus with the lamb) or putting emphasis on our “family status,” making Him just one of the guys?

This is one reason why I am trying to spend more time on and in my relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is not king or priest, but a spirit union with me. This One is sister, brother, counselor, lover. Yes, I understand we learn about Jesus in those same ways, but honestly, I think we’d better understand His role as Melchizedek too. And in that semblance, I doubt I’ll be jumping up into his lap like Santa Claus.

Something to think about today.

Read Full Post »

I am grateful that I have never had my house broken into. But I know people: my brother’s place was wiped out of all electronics, DVDs, bicycle, etc. A colleague from work lost all of her jewelry to a thief in the night. And one family had all of their children’s gifts stolen from under the tree on Christmas Eve.

I Thessalonians 5:2, 4
. . . for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. . . . But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

I have been told that it feels like a rape of one’s life, to experience this kind of invasion. It’s usually inexplicable, and unlike TV, where Monk comes in and floats his hands around to figure out why and who and when, there is rarely recovery of one’s things or capture of the thieves.

Paul writes that the coming of Christ, the total renewal of Spirit, and the “end of the age,” will come when least expected by most people. And yet, as believers, we are not to be surprised. I had never picked up on that before; I focused on the unexpected thief and figured we were all in the dark. Not so.

Unfortunately, others have taken this piece of information as an encouragement to set the date and time. Over the years, there have been a number of end time dates announced and yet, the dates have come and gone, and we’re all still here. Things are heating up a bit now and both believers and non-believers are predicting cataclysmic events in 2012. Some base their predictions on complex studies of the prophetic literature and calendar mathematics, while others are enamored of the Mayan calendar and the implications of its final year.

I still believe we “see through a glass darkly” and we will not understand the fullness of the “return of Christ” until it happens. But I will hold to this: as the Holy Spirit within me manifests more each day, as the Light within me finds open avenues to shine out, then this Coming may indeed be anticipated.

But for now, I’ll just wait.

Read Full Post »

If there’s a kingdom, then there’s a king. And the verso must also be true: if there is a king, there is a kingdom. Even if the king is in exile, there is a place, whether we accept it or not.

Acts 28:23b
…From morning till evening he [Paul] explained and declared to them [the Roman Jews] the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.

I guess this is the thing that captured my thoughts today. It doesn’t matter if people believe or don’t believe. The kingdom still exists. The kingdom endures.

There is an old “zen” question about a tree that falls in the woods; does it make a sound if no one hears it? Yes it does. It’s prideful to think that we are the only ones to hear, to acknowledge what is. We are limited in our understanding of the universe. We are limited in what we hear and see. We are limited in our own ability to engage the kingdom of God.

But, Jesus invited us to hear, see, taste and touch the kingdom. Jesus gave us entree.

There was no pushing or shoving or demanding. Jesus did not cajole. Jesus offered himself as a door and choice.

It’s a mystery.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: