This coming weekend the Roman Catholics and many other Christian churches which use the common lectionary will honor Jesus Christ as our King.
Here in the United States the concept of being ruled over by royalty was rejected as our form of government was being put together, probably in reaction to the royalty of England, from which many Americans had fled.
A careful balance of power among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government was seen to create a permanent balance of political power.
This would also protect us against the tyranny of a king or queen. In the recent elections as well as the confirmation of the latest justice to the US Supreme Court, there was much discussion as to the possible shifting of political power, and how this might affect us all. In contrast to this careful balancing of power in our nation, Christians honor Jesus Christ as our King and Lord, and offer our total allegiance to him. We see Jesus Christ as a most unusual king, however.
His life and ministry were far from the pomp and pageantry of typical human royalty. He never lived in a palace, instead lived in poverty his whole life, and identified with the poor and the outcast.
He never wore a crown, except the crown of thorns. He never had armies to protect him.
He saw himself more as a Good Shepherd rather than as a powerful king. In the gospel used in the common lectionary this weekend, he is pictured as judging people according to how they treated the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the prisoner.
So as we continue our efforts to maintain a careful balance of political power in our nation, may we continue to give our total allegiance to Jesus Christ, the King and Lord of the universe.