But how about Christ the King? That's going to be very different. What characterizes Christ the King's Kingdom? And if you would serve this king, what would you do?
Jesus' ideas about king and kingdom clearly draw from the Hebrew scriptures, particularly the prophets, like Ezekiel who uses images of sheep and goats in chapter 34. Through the prophet, God condemns the "shepherds" (read: kings or rulers) of God's people for their failure to show concern for the weak, poor, and vulnerable. They've chosen instead to enrich themselves and exploit God's people with indifference to their plight.
This leads to God's declaration that God will become shepherd for God's people, taking care of them as they should be. God reaffirms that God will be with God's people, particularly when God's people have been abandoned and oppressed.
In some of Jesus' last teaching in Matthew 25, he uses Ezekiel's imagery of sheep and goats to describe the values that characterize his Kingdom. Here the with-ness of the divine with God's people takes an even deeper tone.
You're likely familiar with the verses: I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. The faithful are confused to hear this, saying that they never remember ministering to the Lord in such a state. Jesus tells them: Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.
Playing on the often used (and abused) Christian sense of witness, we recognize the dynamic of what's involved when adding an "h" to create "withness" as a hallmark of the King and his Kingdom.
To find out what this means, see the sermon video below, or check the downloads below the video panel.