“THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING”
THE ADVENT OF THE KING & HIS KINGDOM
Christ’s Kingdom of Power
Adventide Midweek 1: 4 November Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP
In The Name + of The King, Christ Jesus
The mystery and sacrament of the Nativity, of the newborn baby boy lying in the cradle, suckling at His mother’s breasts, is that He is the King of the universe.
Adventide is a season in the Church calendar year that precedes the yearly celebration of Christ’s Nativity—Christmas. But since every Sunday, literally every day is a “day that the Lord hath made” and a day in which the ever-present incarnated God/Man reigns in His presence “for you,” every day is also Advent. Every day you wait for His imminent return in visible glory. If you don’t wait anxiously, prayerfully, anticipatorily, than your faith is weak and you need to repent. And yes Advent is a season of serious repentance. But such is the life of a Christian. Take stock!
The sectarians are correct that God is sovereign. God is King because He is “being” and not an impersonal force. God is Triune---Three persons in one Godhead. The King is omnipotent to be sure: “I am the almighty God” He says and has Moses record. [Gen. 17.1] The God/Man Christ, your Advent King in the flesh says as much to His Mother and Disciples: “with God nothing shall be impossible” [Luke 1.37] and “with God all things are possible.” [Matt. 19.26]
And with that precious baby (“not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious Blood and with His innocent suffering and death”...) the Virgin held in her arms The King of Power and His Kingdom of Power. The King and His Kingdom are one. The Lord and His Church are one. The Bride and Groom are one. These unities are not of essence, God is creator and all else is create. But these are communions wherein the King bestows realities.
An Advent reality to meditate upon is that the Baby on the Christmas cards, represented by the porcelain figure in your crèche, and by artists on December 24th worship bulletins, is the same pre-existing, always existing, Second Person: “in the beginning was The Word…and The Word was God…all things were made by Him…” [John 1] The tiny mewling 8 pound swaddled One, created “ex nihilo” the ground upon which His Mother sat and the canopy of stars which shone down on the stable.
A proper December-time devotion for all of you is to reflect upon this King when eating sugar cookies and putting up decorations far far too early! For this Monarch, this Bread reposing in feeding manger is His omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent Kingdom in the flesh. The newborn is also the eternal Alpha and Omega who rules, yes, in sovereignty upon quarks, quasars, black holes and distant stars. His Kingdom encompasses sub-atomic universes, the molten inner-core of earth and the tops of the Himalayas where His angels scout and sing with final Advent preparations.
But none of that, none of this infinite realm of power, true creative and sustaining power, matters if the breach is not repaired; if the rot is not cleansed; if the brokenness is not mended; and if your sin—the cause of all darkness and dissolution is not atoned for—paid for. Thus the meek and mild baby, King of the First Advent, is the Forever King of the final Advent. And even that is not the true Gospel.
The Good News this Adventide, every Advent day of your earthly life, is that the King, while sovereign, is merciful and giving. It isn’t lion but Paschal Lamb. It isn’t sovereign but suffering servant! The object of your worship on December 24th and 25th is the object of your worship as He suffered and died for you on Calvary. “Jesus came, the heavens adoring, came with peace from realms on high; Jesus came for man’s redemption, lowly came on earth to die.” [TLH 56.1] He is the object of your worship as you receive that same Body and Blood at Mass on Sunday. For as beautiful and meaningful as it is to sing the Magnificat, it is infinitely more beneficial to receive the object of said canticle. That which magnified Mary and filled her soul is He that does the same when placed on your tongues in His most Holy Supper of Salvation. “Enter now my waiting heart, glorious King and Lord most holy.” [TLH 55.2]
His Kingdom of Power is in the Advent King coming to you and for you in forgiveness and remission. The Kingdom of Power placed into you in His powerful—i.e. His glorified, peaceful, loving Body and living Word.
Yes King David was right and truthful when He spoke of the true Christ King: “They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, and talk of Thy power.” [Ps. 145.11] But the Gospel of Advent is neither in the Bethlehem cave or the Golgotha hilltop. The Gospel is Christ Crucified where He is found for you in Holy + Washing, Absolution, and Communion. The Kingdom of Power is always in the God/Man’s Body and Blood. “Come Thou precious Ransom, come…hail, hosanna, to our King!”[TLH 55.1]
In The Name of The Father and of The + Son and of The Holy Ghost