November 20, 2022

C52: Reign of Christ Sunday, Year C (2022)

Jim Somerville

“When I was a kid, we used to play a game on the school playground called ‘King of the Hill.’…Somebody would climb up on a mound of dirt at one corner of the playground and shout: ‘I’m King of the Hill!’ which was an invitation to everyone else to come and try to push him off…Whoever was on top at any given time was the King of the Hill and usually it didn’t last very long, but it was wonderful when you were up there…But let’s put it in perspective. It was a playground game…Other than the few kids who had played the game with me that day, nobody knew or cared that for one brief, shining moment I had been king,” begins Jim Somervile, pastor of Richmond’s First Baptist Church and Co-Founder of A Sermon for Every Sunday. He continues, “It’s not all that different, really, from the story we find in today’s Gospel reading, Luke 23:33-43…where Jesus doesn’t look much like a king at all.” The crucifixion seems to be a strange text for Christ the King Sunday. But, Somerville says, “If you believe that Jesus was as good as his word, then you can see how this pitiful scene from Luke 23 is transformed by your faith…The surprising thing about Jesus is that he uses his power not to save himself but to save others. And let me ask you: if you could choose between a king who would use his power to save himself and a king who would use his power to save you, which one would you choose?”

Manuscript available: click HERE