This coming Sunday is known as ‘Christ the King’ Sunday and marks the beginning of the Advent countdown to Christmas. The more mature ones amongst us will remember this as ‘Stir Up’ Sunday. This is because of the ‘old’ collect (prayer) that was used from the Book of Common Worship:
Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by you be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Since Victorian times ‘Stir Up’ Sunday has become associated with the rather lovely family custom of preparing for Christmas together by making the Christmas pudding, an essential part of most British Christmas dinners – along with sprouts! So if you haven’t started your Christmas cooking – this coming Sunday is the perfect time to start!
Many times in the Bible, and in Church history, people have sought to deny the Kingship of Jesus. And this was, and is, a key theological issue. If Jesus is not the divine Lord, and is not the very image of God, then we cannot know God. If Jesus is not the sovereign Lord who rules the universe. then we can have no confidence and security in the face of the tough times of life. And if Jesus is not the divine sovereign Lord who died for our sin on the cross, then we can have no forgiveness. And so ‘Christ The King’ is an important Sunday in the liturgical calendar.
American pastor, Dr S.M. Lockridge (Shadrach Meshach Lockridge – there’s a name) was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, a prominent African-American congregation in San Diego, California, from 1953 to 1993. He was known for his preaching across the United States and around the world and is probably most famous for a sermon entitled: That’s My King. This extract from that sermon is well worth a view.
You can read the full script here:
My King was born King.
The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King.
He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King.
He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King.
He’s the King of righteousness.
He’s the King of the ages.
He’s the King of Heaven.
He’s the King of glory.
He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords.
Now that’s my King.
Well I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him?
Don’t try to mislead me. Do you know my King?
David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament show His handiwork.
My King is the only one whom there are no means of measure can define His limitless love.
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shore of supplies.
No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.
Well, well, He’s enduringly strong.
He’s entirely sincere.
He’s eternally steadfast.
He’s immortally graceful.
He’s imperially powerful.
He’s impartially merciful.
That’s my King.
He’s God’s Son.
He’s the sinner’s saviour.
He’s the centrepiece of civilization.
He stands alone in Himself.
Well, He’s the grandest idea in literature.
He’s the highest personality in philosophy.
He’s the supreme problem in high criticism.
He’s the fundamental doctrine of proved theology.
He’s the cardinal necessity of spiritual religion.
That’s my King.
He’s the miracle of the age.
He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him.
Well, He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously.
He supplies strength for the weak.
He’s available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He’s strong God and He guides.
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharged debtors.
He delivers the captives.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek.
Do you know Him?
Well, my King is a King of knowledge.
He’s the wellspring of wisdom.
He’s the doorway of deliverance.
He’s the pathway of peace.
He’s the roadway of righteousness.
He’s the highway of holiness.
He’s the gateway of glory.
He’s the master of the mighty.
He’s the captain of the conquerors.
He’s the head of the heroes.
He’s the leader of the legislatures.
He’s the overseer of the overcomers.
He’s the governor of governors.
He’s the prince of princes.
He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords.
That’s my King. Yes. Yes. That’s my King. My King, Yes.
His office is manifold.
His promise is sure.
His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His Word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Well. I wish I could describe Him to you, but He’s indescribable.
He’s indescribable. Yes.
I’m coming to tell you, the heavens of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explaining Him.
You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hands. You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.
Well, Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him.
Pilate couldn’t find any fault in Him.
The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree.
Herod couldn’t kill Him.
Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him.
That’s my King. Yes.
He always has been and He always will be.
I’m talking about He had no predecessor and He’ll have no successor.
There’s nobody before Him and there’ll be nobody after Him.
You can’t impeach Him and He’s not going to resign.
That’s my King! That’s my King!
Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory.
Well, all the power belongs to my King.
We’re around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but its God’s power.
Thine is the power. Yes. And the glory.
We try to get prestige and honour and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His.
Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever.
How long is that?
And ever and ever and ever and ever. And when you get through with all of the evers, then, Amen.