John’s gospel describes the scene in which Jesus is brought before Pilate to be questioned. Pilate asks Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus responds, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
Two things emerge in the exchange: Jesus does not reject the title king, but neither does he accept the ordinary political implications of the title. His is another kind of kingship entirely. And his authority derives its power from a source other than this world.
The point is the source of the kingdom’s authority (divine not worldly), not the location of the kingdom’s presence. It is in that sense that Jesus’ kingship “does not belong to this world” and “is not here.” Our response to the reign of God and the kingship of Jesus has everything to do with how we live out our lives. In this we honour Jesus as “faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.”
Dennis Hamm, SJ
We live in an age that has seen some of the most widespread and rapid changes in the history of humanity. Our lives are constantly changing; even if we try to keep things the same, we can’t do it. Jesus is the single greatest agent of change the world has ever seen. The faith of his followers toppled the mighty Roman Empire and they accomplished this after their leader had been executed and without having to take up a single sword.
We shouldn’t get completely swept away in the excitement of change, but neither should we be afraid of it. We need to live in the present and look forward to what the future holds. And in the meantime, we must be alert, vigilant, and involved in the world around us while keeping our faith in the timeless, living message of Jesus Christ.
- Rev Dawn Chesser – www.umcdiscipleship.org
Hawkesbury Zone Uniting Churches invite you to the induction of their ministry team, Rev Geoff Stevenson, Rev Rodel Parma and Rev Je-Kon Oh, on Sunday 22nd November.
The service will be held at Ebenezer Uniting Church, commencing at 2pm and afternoon tea will follow.
We are again having a Reverse Christmas Tree, with all gifts being donated to Parramatta Mission. If you are interested in donating a gift, please bring it in from Sunday 29th November. Please label the gift with a tag indicating the age and gender of the recipient.