We 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 the following 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.
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.
11 responses to “Christ the King”
Thank You, this made me weep, as it is so very True!
Bless you for revealing the heart of the King
This made me bow my head in shame.
I really appreciate the contemporary setting and scenes of Jesus the King being unwelcome and a danger to us where we are today in culture and time. Sharp and cutting truths. Those who know the King may wish to open up even more and welcome Him in.Thank you!
Woe is me. So sadly true.
You hit the nail on the head. A sacred poem for our time and any time.
Reblogged this on A priceless thing… and commented:
An excellent poem by Malcolm Guite…
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Thank you for this wonderful sonnet inspired by this Sunday’s feast of Christ the King. These words are still very timely, and deeply moving.
Reblogged this on My Pastoral Ponderings and commented:
What a wonderful sonnet inspired by this Sunday’s feast of Christ the King. These words are still very timely, and deeply moving.