Christ the King, King George, and Elvis

This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday. Some people are calling it the Reign of Christ Sunday, because of revolutionary or other associations which render the title of king less than desirable in their imaginations. Imagination is key when it comes to our relationship with God; we cannot (or we can rarely, in the case of the mystics) directly perceive God, so imagination, metaphor, imagery, wordplay, art and music rule when it comes to describing our Creator and Sustainer in the world.

Describe, not define; “King” might be a useful label in offering an attribute to God, and to Jesus Christ God’s Son, our Lord, but it is offered as a detail, not a definition. This might help free the title from some of its constraints in certain social and cultural situations – or not.

Anyway, I wanted to get some help with the way that the name, title or attribute (job?) or king is perceived and how that perception might colour this Sunday’s celebration, so I invite you, if you would, to take the following poll to help me add nuance to the children’s storybook image of the bearded man with the golden crown, or the revolutionary tyrant, or the singer in spandex which dominate the genre:

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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2 Responses to Christ the King, King George, and Elvis

  1. mephibashef says:

    Perhaps it is my sense, but as an American, 2nd generation, I have not known a king as a ruler over my world… History tells me that kings have varied widely from kind and noble to despotic and cruel… but the bible seems so very clear that the character of God is not cruel, but he loves us. His rule is authoritative, but the authority is not crushing to bear, but guiding, all knowing, wise.

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