King Jesus: A Transition of Power
There is a long biblical precedent for the transition of power. From David saying, “I will not lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed.” To the stories of lesser known Israelite kings like Rehoboam, and Asa ascending to the throne. Some were good kings, most were not. The prophecy of a “ruler from the line of David, one that will sit on the throne forever” come to us from the writings of Samuel. When the Wise Men came from the east they asked, “Where is the one born King of the Jews?” The Pharisees felt they had a king in Herod, and even Pilate asks Jesus directly, “Are you a King?” The transition of power when Jesus ascends to SIT at the right hand of God is a more royal coronation than any from the Elizabethan era. Sitting down, after conquering not a foreign enemy but sin and death itself mandates that Jesus is King and Caesar is not. In these United States of America today we can only hope and pray that this president, like the one before him and the one before him would rule with justice, would lead with wisdom, and emulate the God who made him. However, we know like all human kings, leaders, priests, and presidents, they will not ultimately be able to deliver our deepest hopes for a just and righteous society. We look to our leaders to emulate a portion of God’s kingdom on earth but we do that knowing Jesus alone demands our allegiance. He has deposed every king and president this world has and will ever see. His law is love and his gospel is peace.
A Prayer for Our Nation
Our God and our Father, as our nation undergoes this presidential transition, we pray, “Thy Kingdom come.”
We thank you for your presence in our lives and communities on this inauguration day. We pray this day for a safe and orderly transition of power. We lift up the new President and Vice President of this nation, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. May your Holy Spirit guide our leaders with values and principles of your kingdom. May your hand be upon them, Father, and may you pour out wisdom, grace, strength, and truth unto them and all those who counsel them in the coming days.
We also pray for those who have been hurt and impacted by the recent events of violence that our nation has seen. We lift up the families who have lost loved ones. Lord, protect our nation from further violence, injury, and death today and in the days to come.
We pray for a new sense of community in our nation, and that you would use us as your children to be bearers of the peace of Christ, lights among the darkness, and lanterns of hope in the midst of despair. We pray that you grant us wisdom to bring people together, to listen quickly and to speak slowly, and to cultivate a community of peace where we find ourselves.
More than anything, God, we thank you that you remain King of our hearts, our nation, and our world. Fix our eyes on you this day, and bring comfort, peace, and trust to all.
“May your faithful love rest on us, Yahweh, for we put our hope in you.” – Psalm 33:22
Tribalism – Who is in and who is out? Who is with you and who is against you?
Who is for us and who is for them? Who is liberal and who is convervative? Who is red and who is blue? Who is me and who is with you?
We set up our tribes and then put our kings and queens up on the stage or dare I say altar and demand that they perform for us and give us the morality and policies we want. Jesus simply says, “Come and follow me.”
Tribalism is an affront to King Jesus because each “us vs. them” mentality desecrates the “made in God’s image” of every man and woman.
Repent of the lines you have drawn about who is in and who is out.
Repent of self-righteousness and arrogance that comes with tribalism.
Repent of the racism, sexism, classism, and elitism that comes with tribalism.
Mourn for the relationships lost due to tribalism.
Ask the Holy Spirit how you can hold both your convictions to Christian discipleship in one hand and the radical hospitality of Christ in the other that would welcome Gentiles and sinners to the table.
Kingdom Vision – Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.
Lord remind us and restore in us a vision for your Kingdom, that is not of this world. Remind us that we are workers not master builders, ministers and not messiahs. Come before and behind us that we may plant seeds and lay foundations that would bear fruit for your Kingdom– fruit of patience, love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. May your grace and mercy enter in as we till in the soil, for the glory of your kingdom.
God’s Thrown –
But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
– Matthew 20:20-28
Today’s inauguration is a reminder that Jesus our King did not come to be celebrated as an earthly king. Even though he was the Son of God, Jesus did not make himself equal to God, he emptied himself and became obedient to death. Jesus lived and died as a humble servant. As believers we must be careful not to elevate men above God’s rule and reign in our hearts. We must not align ourselves with men in power or political affiliations. We are called to love and serve all men regardless of differences or status. On the night Jesus was betrayed, he humbled himself to serve his disciples by washing their feet. Christ calls us to follow his example not by elevating ourselves or clinging to power but by serving the needs of those around us. Our mission is to live out the radical love and hospitality of God’s kingdom throughout all generations.
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.
– Daniel 2:20-23
Jesus replied, “My kingdom doesn’t originate from this world. If it did, my guards would fight so that I wouldn’t have been arrested by the Jewish leaders. My kingdom isn’t from here.” “So you are a king?” Pilate said. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.”
“What is truth?” Pilate asked.
– John 18:36-38
From food and sugary drinks for 24 hours.
Praise to the King of Creation
From Every Moment Holy by Douglas Kaine Mckelvey
Our thoughts of you,
O Lord, have been too small, too few—
for seldom have we considered
how specific is the exercising of your authority,
extending as it does into the myriad particulars
There is no quarter over which you are not king.
And as creation hurtles toward its liberation and redemption,
the full implications of your deep Lordship
are yet to be revealed in countless facets unconsidered:
Christ, you are the Snow King.
You are the Maker of All Weathers.
You are The King of Sunlight and Storms,
The King of Grey Skies and Rain.
You are The Rain King,
The Sun King,
the Hurricane King.
You are the King of Autumn
and King of Spring.
And our thoughts of you,
O Lord, have been too small, too few.
The old and impotent gods
our ancestors once believed in were,
at their best,
but imperfect pictures of you,
whose strength and goodness
and creative majesty
and wonderful mystery and love
exceed those old rumors as sunlight exceeds
the tiny dimness of stars reflected
in a dark and wavering pool.
The fairy tales
crafted by our old cultures
hinted at you,
though they knew it not.
Yet their perfect princes
and blessed ends were
yearnings for all that has found
fulfillment in you.
You are the Lord of the Harvest.
The Grain King,
The Wine King,
The God of Plenty,
The God of Hearth and Home.
You are The Hill King,
The Wildflower King,
King of the Great Bears,
King of Canyons.
You are The Monarch of Meadows,
The Lord of the Lava Fields,
Ruler of the Desert Wastes,
The Polar King,
The Rainbow King,
The King of the Southern Cross,
and The King of the Northern Lights.
You are the King of the Rabbits,
and The Lord of Tall Trees.
You are the God of Youth
and the God of Age.
You are The Acorn King,
The River God,
The Swamp King,
King of Glades,
King of Dells,
Ruler of All Hummingbirds.
You are The Horse Lord,
The Crag King,
Lord of the Bees,
King of the Walruses,
Commander of Rhinos,
Lord of the Lightning Bugs,
Ruler of the Grassy Plains,
God of the Valleys.
You are The Captain of the Clouds,
The Wolf King,
The King of the Cockatoos.
And our thoughts of you,
O Lord, have been too small, too few.
For your claim over creation is vast. You are
The Lord of Antarctica,
the King of California,
the King of the Scottish Hills,
and the King of the Nile.
You are the weaver of
the unseen fabrics of the world.
You are Lord of the Atoms,
The Ruler of Electrons,
The Lord of Gravity,
and The King of Quarks.
Your dominion enfolds the earth and rises
beyond it to the furthest extremes of the stars.
You are Lord of the Vast Empty Spaces.
You are The King of the Constellations,
The Black Hole King,
Lord of Novas Exploding,
Lord of Speeding Light,
High King of Galaxies,
King of Orion,
King of the Moon.
And still, even still,
our thoughts of you
have been too small, too few.
You are the God of Justice,
The God of Wisdom,
The God of Mercy,
The God of Redemption.
You are The Lord of Love.
All of this is true.
But our thoughts of you are still too few,
for our minds are too small
to conceive of them all,
let alone to contain them.
You were before all things, you created
all things, and in you all things are
held together. There is no corner of creation
you will fail to redeem.
You are Lord of Lords,
and King of Kings,
O Jesus Christ,
our King of Everything.