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.
6 responses to “Christ the King”
That is really powerful, Malcolm. We are so apt to forget these poignant words from the Gospel of Matthew, which your beautiful poem reflect:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Malcolm, thank you for always having a heart of compassion for “the least of these,” and for expressing it as a recurring theme in your poetry. It’s not fallen on deaf ears.
Blessings, and Happy Thanksgiving, this coming Thursday (though I know it is not a British Holiday, I know you have much for which to express gratitude, not least of which is that our King reigns)!
Sorry to say that I cannot cope with PayPal. Is there another method of contributing from time to time?
Thanks Jean not to worry. Another simple way to contribute is by buying one of my books instead
Malcolm, just a personal note to say how much I enjoyed your fascinating and fun talk via Zoom for the CSLF! Thanks for all the thought and work you put into it. I benefited greatly.
BTW, Lion Hudson in Oxford surprised me, Mary Pomroy Key and my agent, Steve Laube, by bringing out Women and C.S. Lewis as an audiobook! Some contributors like yourself tell me they have discovered it on Amazon or on http://www.christianbook.com and are getting it for themselves and for Christmas gifts. The voice actors are British ☺.
Blessings, my friend…
Thanks Carolyn this has appeared as a comment on my blog post rather than an email to me so I’ve edited out your personal details. Congratulations on the audio book