Christ the King

20111119-111210In recent days many people have, quite understandably been remembering the passage in Matthew (25:31-46) in which Christ reveals that even as He is enthroned in Glory, the King who comes to judge at the end of the ages, he is also the hidden King, hidden beneath the rags and even in the flesh of his poor here on earth.

This passage in Matthew is especially challenging to us now in the midst of a major refugee crisis triggered by the dreadful violence in Syria and Iraq. We can and should make a compassionate response, even though that response is shadowed by our fears of terrorist infiltration. It should be possible to be alert to and vet those malicious persons who might try to infiltrate themselves amongst genuine refugees. But it is clear that the huge numbers of widows and children in desperate need are no threat to anyone, but rather themselves threatened by the terrorists whom we oppose. There is no reason for a proper caution about infiltration to inhibit a genuine and generous response to crisis.I wrote this sonnet some years before the present Crisis, but Christ’s words, on which this poem reflects, seem more vital and more needed than ever.

Here is a sonnet written in response to the gospel reading for the feast of Christ the King.

This sonnet comes at the end of my sequence ‘Sounding the Seasons’ published by Canterbury Press.

The book is available in North america from Steve Bell here, or Amazon here

You can hear the sonnet by clicking on the ‘play’ button if it appears, or by clicking on the title.
Audio Player

Christ The King

Mathew 25: 31-46

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.

3 Comments

Filed under imagination

3 responses to “Christ the King

  1. Jean Dabinett

    Thank you for sharing this challenge. ” You did it unto Me,,,,,,You did it not unto Me.” Is it legal to include this sonnet in our Parish Magazine? or perhaps in our weekly Pew sheet .? Jean Dabinett, member of St Bartholomew’s Church,,Cam and Coaley, Gloucester Diocese.

    On Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 11:13 AM, Malcolm Guite wrote:

    > malcolmguite posted: “In recent days many people have, quite > understandably been remembering the passage in Matthew (25:31-46) in which > Christ reveals that even as He is enthroned in Glory, the King who comes to > judge at the end of the ages, he is also the hidden King, hidden ” >

  2. This one gets me every time I read it. It’s so easy to fall into the prevailing view of “this person could pose a problem” and forget that “this is Christ.”

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