Introduction: Even after Israel had experienced the vagaries of kings, they still longed for a true king to set things right. He would have the king’s title of Anointed One (Messiah); he would be the “one like a human being” (Son of Man) given dominion in Daniel’s vision. Jesus is given these titles, even though he is nothing like an earthly king. His authority comes from the truth to which he bears witness, and those who recognize the truth voluntarily listen to him. We look forward to the day he is given dominion, knowing his victory will be the nonviolent victory of love.
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The Lessons: (Link to the Readings)
First Reading: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
To the community for whom this passage was written, it seemed as though the oppression they were experiencing would never end. Daniel’s message is: It shall end. The Ancient One, who is judge, will call all nations to account and will give dominion to “one like a human being,” the Messiah.
Psalm: Psalm 93
Ever since the world began, your throne has been established. (Ps. 93:2)
Second Reading: Revelation 1:4b-8
The book of Revelation begins by celebrating the Almighty God, who spans all of time. Similarly, Jesus is celebrated as the firstborn from the dead who rules over the world’s rulers. He is the one whose return we eagerly await.
Gospel: John 18:33-37
In John’s gospel, the story of Jesus and Pilate presents two different ways of exercising power: through force or with love.
Almighty and ever-living God, you anointed your beloved Son to be priest and sovereign forever. Grant that all the people of the earth, now divided by the power of sin, may be united by the glorious and gentle rule of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.