Who is Christ the King? | Visual Resources for Both Lectionaries on November 26, 2023
Visual Resources for the Lectionaries
This post offers visual resources for the Revised Common Lectionary and the Narrative Lectionary for November 26, 2023. This is Christ the King Sunday, or The Reign of Christ Sunday. The RCL offers visions of the Messiah from Ezekiel 34 and Ephesians 1. The Gospel is Matthew 25:31-46. This scene of the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God concludes the Eschatological Discourse. The NL jumps to the story of Josiah in 2 Kings. He is an image of a good king in Judah. The Gospel reading is Luke 24:30-32 where Jesus eats with the disciples in Emmaus.
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Drop the “g”!
I don’t often offer interpretation in my weekly posts. I simply want to offer visual resources to present the text. This week, however, I do feel compelled to offer one thought about preaching on Christ the King Sunday.
It is increasingly difficult for me to speak of Jesus as a King who sits on a throne and rules over a kingdom. That was a metaphor that had some helpful allegorical meaning for the first century. The metaphor does not work in the USA for two reasons. First, it does not reflect our political context of a democracy (we rejected a king, remember). Second, we tend to latch on to the patriarchal domination structure of our mythic memories of European kings, which is not helpful and the opposite of Jesus’ teaching.
If we drop the letter g then many things are solved. We move from a king to a kin, meaning a family member. We move from a kingdom to a kin-dom, meaning a family.
Jesus proclaimed and modeled a relationship with Abba and invited his disciples into a community. He did not lord it over people, but his glory was demonstrated on the cross of execution and humiliation. Read my posts here, here and here where I have illustrated notes on these ideas.
Revised Common Lectionary
Here are quick links to all the texts for this week:
Reign of Christ
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 and Psalm 95:1-7a
The RCL Gospel Reading is Matthew 25:31-43.
I added a throne to this image based on Daniel’s vision of the Son of Man (Daniel 7:1-14). These images give a visual commentary on the passage. It is important to note that this is a judgment of all nations. The boundaries between Jew and Gentile are erased. All that matters is how the nations treat the “least of these.” Read more…
Feel free to use any or all of these slides and images in your own preaching and teaching.
Two generations after Manasseh’s reign of sin, a second king like Hezekiah ascended to the throne. Through a reconnection to the Law of Moses, Josiah spearheaded a radical reformation of Judah’s religious landscape. While Josiah’s reformations were true, thorough, and authentic, they were too late. God spared Josiah in response to his devotion, but the nation itself could not escape from the damage that Manasseh had done. As soon as Josiah was gone, the threads of the nation began to unravel.
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A Cartoonist’s Guide to the Gospel of Mark is a full-color graphic novel style telling of Jesus’ life according to Mark. Use these images to enhance your preaching and teaching by engaging your audience in a fresh way.
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