The Reign of Christ (proper 29) November 26, 2006.
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
On this day, at the end of the church year, we celebrate the power and the majesty of Christ. We dare to name Christ as the ruler of all rulers. We pledge our allegiance to Christ and by our baptism are made citizens of Christ's dominion. On this day, we declare the power of Christ, a power known not in domination, violence, or hierarchy but in vulnerability, service, and love. This one whom we name as king is radically other than all the rulers ever known. And through Christ who reigns, both now and forever, we are given life, hope, and freedom.
The Daniel reading is from the first of his apocalyptic visions. The scene is set at a place of judgment. God is depicted with white hair and white clothing, designating both age and purity. Fire provides another familiar symbolic connection to the power and holiness of God. Remember the burning bush and Ezekiel's vision of the flames and the wheels (Ezek 1:4, 15-21; 10:9-17).
With its books open, the court was set for judgment. This image of a book is common in apocalyptic language and in the imaginings imaginings
speculative thoughts about what might be the case or what might happen; fantasies: lurid imaginings of God in judgment. We read of it in Mal 3:16, "the Lord took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the Lord and thought on his name," and in Rev 20:12, "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. And another book was opened, the book of life."
Into this scene of judgment descends a person, in likeness of a son of man (ben 'adam). The term itself, "son of man," was often used in prophetic and apocalyptic literature to denote the mortality of a person. Within the vision and the interpretation given in Dan 7:27, this son of man was the symbolic representation of "the people of the holy ones of the Most High." Within this text itself, it would be a bit presumptuous pre·sump·tu·ous
Going beyond what is right or proper; excessively forward.
[Middle English, from Old French presumptueux, from Late Latin praes to claim that this son of man was a messianic mes·si·an·ic also Mes·si·an·ic
1. Of or relating to a messiah: messianic hopes.
2. Of or characterized by messianism: messianic nationalism. figure, as the vision and its interpretation speak otherwise. However, in later Jewish apocalyptic literature, and clearly within Christian scriptures, the term "son of Man" is used for the Messiah. (20)
In Revelation 1, John of Patmos leaves little doubt about the majestic and complete reign of God. This is the lens through which the world and all of our experiences must be seen. The verbs that describe the work of Jesus are interesting. All are participles, but with different tenses. Jesus loves us ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII ASCII or American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a set of codes used to represent letters, numbers, a few symbols, and control characters. Originally designed for teletype operations, it has found wide application in computers. ], present participle pres·ent participle
A participle expressing present action, in English formed by the infinitive plus -ing and used to express present action in relation to the time indicated by the finite verb in its clause, to form progressive tenses with ), and this loving is a present and continuing action. Jesus frees us ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], aorist aorist: see tense. participle par·ti·ci·ple
A form of a verb that in some languages, such as English, can function independently as an adjective, as the past participle baked in We had some baked beans, ), so this saving has happened already; the action is complete.
Besides loving us and giving us freedom from sin, Jesus has made us to be a kingdom. These are powerful words, particularly to the early Christian community who were persecuted by the present kingdom of the Roman Empire. By naming Jesus the "ruler of all Kings," the writer places the faithful into a wholly separate kingdom. John of Patmos liberates and sets apart the people from the empire. This is a radical shift in identity that breaks open a new way of being even within the oppression of the empire. These words state clearly: There is one king, named Jesus Christ Jesus Christ: see Jesus.
40 days after Resurrection, ascended into heaven. [N.T.: Acts 1:1–11]
See : Ascension
kind to the poor, forgiving to the sinful. [N.T. , and because of what Jesus has done our kingdom is with Jesus.
In the Gospel of John For other uses, see Gospel of John (disambiguation).
The Gospel of John (literally, According to John; Greek, Κατά Ιωαννην, Kata Iōannēn the whole passion, from death to resurrection, is part of Jesus' glorification glo·ri·fy
tr.v. glo·ri·fied, glo·ri·fy·ing, glo·ri·fies
1. To give glory, honor, or high praise to; exalt.
2. . The death of Jesus is part of his giving his life for his friends. It is a life that he lays down on his own accord, which will bring glory not only to God but also to God's people.
With control and authority, Jesus never directly answers any of Pilate's questions. Instead, he directs the conversation as he would have it, telling Pilate in language Pilate might understand about who Jesus is. Jesus says, "my kingdom is not from this world" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]). It is not a kingdom that is totally set apart from the world but is rather on wholly different terms.
When Jesus speaks of his subjects, he uses the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], which has been used throughout chapter 18 to describe the temple guards and officials, including the one who struck Jesus in v. 22. If Jesus' dominion were of this world, it would be made of guards and officers, but the evangelist makes it clear that Jesus' dominion is made of friends in mutual service.
With all of his "I am" statements in the Fourth Gospel, Jesus never says, "I am King." Instead, he offers throughout new ways of imagining community and his life-giving power: "I am the Good Shepherd Good Shepherd
[N.T.: John 10:11–14]
See : Christ ." "I am the resurrection and the life." "I am the living water." Never are these images weak or lacking divine and saving power, but they are not dependent on power structures and hierarchies of our world. Jesus' images of the divine power are about giving water to the Samaritan woman, raising the dead, and washing his disciples' feet.
Jesus tells Pilate, "I was born and came into this world for one thing: to bear witness to the truth. And anyone who is from the truth hears my voice." This draws us back to Jesus as the Gatekeeper In an H.323 IP telephony or video environment, a gatekeeper is a device that manages domains and provides call control. It is used to translate user names into IP addresses, to authenticate users and to manage network resources. and Good Shepherd. "The sheep follow him because they know his voice" (John 10:4). It was in this discourse that Jesus laid out his death: "The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep ... no one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord" (John 10:11,18). We also are drawn into another statement Jesus made about himself, "I am the way, the truth and the life." It is Jesus who is the truth; this is the essence of his dominion.
As Raymond E. Brown Raymond Edward Brown (May 22, 1928 - August 8, 1998), was an American Roman Catholic priest and Biblical scholar. He was regarded as a specialist concerning the hypothetical ‘Johannine community’, which he speculated contributed to the authorship of the Gospel of John, wrote in his commentary on John, "Jesus does not deny that he is king, but it is not a title that he would spontaneously choose to describe his role." (21) So it is with us as we seek to name the radical and transformative power of Christ in this world. Yet, we are wholly limited by our language and our world.
The word "king" doesn't quite fit while it is so associated with power-over, domination, and patriarchy patriarchy: see matriarchy. . Yet, in using it, we claim that Jesus Christ holds dominion over all powers and rulers in this world. Our citizenship is with this Jesus who is Truth, who rules by love and self-giving, and whose reign is characterized by mutuality, friendship, and service.
In preaching on this Reign of Christ day, it would be easy to make Christ into a king that the world would recognize and make ourselves into subjects in a hierarchical and triumphalist kingdom. But the promise I read in these texts is of a reign of mutuality. Because Christ loves us and freed us we are brought into this whole new reign, already. Despite the nations and ideologies around us that speak of power through violence and domination and claim us within them, we live as citizens of Christ's reign of service, forgiveness, and mutuality. In Christ, we are constituted as a new sort of community, with allegiance to Christ. SKO SKO Some Kind Of
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20. Louis F. Hartman, C.SS.R. The Book of Daniel Noun 1. Book of Daniel - an Old Testament book that tells of the apocalyptic visions and the experiences of Daniel in the court of Nebuchadnezzar
Book of the Prophet Daniel, Daniel , Anchor Bible Commentary (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977), 219.
21. Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John Noun 1. Gospel According to John - the last of the four Gospels in the New Testament
New Testament - the collection of books of the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline and other epistles, and Revelation; composed soon after Christ's death; the (xiii-xxi), Anchor Bible Commentary (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970), 853-54.