Opinion: Christ the King

(ABP) — According to the Christian calendar we are coming to the end of another year. In just a couple of short weeks we will begin a new chapter in the annual cycle. As I conclude this series, I want to take a few moments to reflect on the journey we’ve enjoyed together.

During Advent, we revisited the message of the prophets who told of the coming of the Messiah, the Savior of humankind.

During the Christmas season, we joined with Christians around the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We welcomed the Christ-child into our hearts.

At the Epiphany, we learned about the revelation of Christ to the world. The Magi visited the Christ child and brought him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Throughout Lent, we witnessed the consummation of Jesus’ earthly ministry and journeyed together to the Cross of Christ.

During Holy week, we realized both the human and divine natures of Jesus as he taught, pled, suffered and died.

The Easter season prompted us to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

A few weeks later, we were awestruck as we witnessed Jesus ascend to the heavens.

At Pentecost, we celebrated the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and his ever-present ministry to us.

Holy Trinity Sunday gave us pause to acknowledge God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Common Time spanned much of our year. The green color associated with this season reminded us to grow in devotion to Christ during this time.

Our remembrance of Reformation Day recalled the birth of the Protestant tradition.

All Saints’ Day called to mind those faithful servants who have gone before us, blazing the trail of faith on which we travel.

And now, we stand with one additional event in our Christian calendar. This coming Sunday is the final Sunday of the church year. On this day, Christians around the world celebrate Christ the King Sunday, proclaiming that Jesus is our only hope for salvation and declaring our expectation that he will come again in glory to reign over all the heavens and the earth.

On Christ the King Sunday, Christians celebrate eternal hope and remember this passage: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

During this week when we give thanks, may we all be mindful of and grateful for the living hope we have in the one eternal God through his son, Jesus Christ. Let us hold fast to this hope and encourage one another in it. Let us proclaim together, “Jesus is the King of all the earth, Jesus is the King of our church, Jesus is the King of our lives! Thanks be to God.”


R. Kevin Johnson is a chaplain at Columbia University Medical Center and a freelance author based in New York City. He is a contributor to The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization (December 2011, Wiley-Blackwell).

Previous R. Kevin Johnson commentaries on the seasons of the Christian calendar: 

Reformation Day

Midway through the Christian Year        

Pentecost, the birthday of the church

The Ascension of Jesus

Resurrection perspectives

Holy week hope

Lent a season of both sacrifice and joy

Ordinary and extraordinary

Epiphany, the Lord revealed  

Looking forward from Christmastide

More than a spiritual eraser comes at Advent

Introducing the Christian year

EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: As part of our mission to provide credible and compelling information about matters of faith, Associated Baptist Press actively seeks a diversity of viewpoints in its columns, commentaries and other opinion-based content. Opinions expressed in these articles are not intended to represent ABP editorial policy and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABP’s staff, board of directors or supporters.



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