Christ the King

Malcolm Guite wrote “This Sunday is the last in the cycle of the Christian year, which ends with the feast of Christ the King, and next Sunday we begin our journey through time to eternity once more, with the first Sunday of Advent. We might expect the Feast of Christ the King to end the year with climactic images of Christ enthroned in Glory, seated high above all rule and authority, one before whom every knee shall bow, and of course those are powerful and important images, images of our humanity brought by him to the throne of the Heavens.”

Yet the Gospel speaks of Calvary, of the taunts of the authorities, the soldiers and the criminal, and the replies of Jesus. Three years ago we first printed Malcolm Guite’s sonnet for the Feast. Here it is again…

Our King is calling from the hungry furrows
Whilst we are cruising through the aisles of plenty, Our hoardings screen us from the man of sorrows, Our soundtracks drown his murmur: ‘I am thirsty’.

He stands in line to sign in as a stranger
And seek a welcome from the world he made, We see him only as a threat, a danger,
He asks for clothes, we strip-search him instead.

And if he should fall sick then we take care That he does not infect our private health, We lock him in the prisons of our fear
Lest he unlock the prison of our wealth.

But still on Sunday we shall stand and sing The praises of our hidden Lord and King.

From Malcolm Guite ‘Sounding the Seasons’ published by Canterbury Press.