Christ the King

20111119-111210We come now to a feast of Ends and Beginnings! This Sunday is the last Sunday 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. But alongside such images we must also set 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.

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.


Filed under imagination

23 responses to “Christ the King

  1. This is so powerful, Malcolm, capturing the paradox of regal reign and destitution, Christ the Center who meets us from society’s margins. Thank you.

  2. Reblogged this on Views from the Edge and commented:
    Malcolm Guite has become a favorite poet whose poetry exquisitely invites me into the essential paradoxes of the Christian faith and life.

  3. Kenneth Willis

    ouch! (but thank you!)

  4. Helen Fensome


  5. Jim Gardiner

    Timely, oh so timely and powerful. Thanks.

  6. Beautiful, thank you Malcolm! See you in Calgary on December 6th. I can’t wait!

  7. Ben

    Reblogged this on Des Fuchses Gesang and commented:
    M. Guite trifft hier in die gleiche Wunde wie Keith Green: wie können wir sagen, dass wir Christus lieben, wenn wir unseren Nächsten nicht lieben?

  8. What a challenging message to those of us who worship Christ the King today – and as we go on through Advent preparing for Christmas.

  9. Thank you and very apt. I wish I had seen this before preaching at the 8o’clock this morning!

  10. Dev Nallathamby

    Thank you Malcolm, for a most appropriate sonnet for today’s world. I have used it in my intercessions at Church on the Feast of Christ the King and prayed for the ‘hidden’ Christ in many situations around the world. I trust I have not infringed any copyright laws!

  11. David Engen

    This was used by our pastor at forum yesterday where we are discussing the impact of the market becoming God. You made several new followers as a result.

  12. I wish our Evangelical (Foursquare) congregation observed this Sunday–all the Church calendar days, but I can still set aside the day in my own thoughts.
    Thank you for this powerful verse and the reminder that time is anchored in Christ, no other.

  13. Hilary Cox

    This hits hard, sad it couldn’t have been used in our service today but I will share it. Thank you Malcolm.

  14. Mary

    So appropriate on this weekend with all the Black Friday nonsense . Take care, Malcolm.

  15. MJH

    Reblogged this on the pocket scroll and commented:
    More from Malcolm Guite. All his poems are worth reading, so spend some time over at the original!

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