You can see all the lectionary readings for Christ the King Sunday, Year C by clicking here. I have chosen to discuss the passage from the book of Luke.
Today’s story is the familiar story of Jesus’ crucifixion. The soldiers nail Jesus to the cross, he prays they will be forgiven. The soldiers gamble for his clothes as the people watch. Leaders mock him and the soldiers mock him and offer him sour wine. One of the criminals to his side also insults and mocks him, but the other criminal stops him, saying they deserve to die but Jesus does not. He asks Jesus to remember him and Jesus promises he will be with him today in paradise.
This is Christ the King Sunday, and this passage reveals a wonderful and unusual king. This king is tortured and mocked. This king welcomes a criminal into his kingdom and promises to be with him. This king is like no other. This is the king of unconditional love. So much of the love shown by churches and churched people seems to be conditional. Yes, we accept you, but you can’t act in certain ways or do things we don’t like. Yes, we support helping the poor, but only if they behave in ways we support. There can be a real lack of true unconditional love from the humans found in churches, but at least the king of them all is an unconditional lover of his church and the world. If only we could truly follow that king. To me, worship is meaningless if we don’t really know his love and share it.