This Sunday’s Readings:
Psalm 93:1, 1–2, 5
WE MOVE FROM MARK’S GOSPEL TO JOHN’S ON THIS FINAL SUNDAY OF THE LITURGICAL YEAR. The question of kingship is Pilate’s focus in John’s narrative of the passion. But those with faith already know who the real King is here in this trial.
A bigger focus that John’s Gospel gives us from the very beginning is this: What makes the King who comes from heaven different? The answer appears throughout Jesus’s passion: He hands himself and everything he has over for the sake of those who belong to him. (Notice how often variations of the phrase “hand over” appear throughout the events of Jesus’s last days—twice in today’s Gospel passage alone.)
From the beginning, the Father gives his Son to dwell among us, and Jesus’s whole purpose is to give testimony to the truth of the Father. As true King, Jesus does not grab, hoard, or amass what he has for himself but freely gives to his friends everything the Father has given to him. On the cross, Jesus hands over his spirit, a Johannine Pentecost. And through the Spirit who unites us together, Christ will hand us back to the Father as a perfect offering of praise.
Unlike earthly rulers, Christ, the King of the Universe, gives his own life that all may have life in him.
“To you who weep, to you who bleed, who dreamed the boundaries of Orion but will not break the reed…to you we lift our song, love ever new, O God who bows, we sing our song to you.”
Today, we rightfully sing love songs to a King, but this is a truly different kind of king. Jesus Christ, King of the Universe—the King who created the Universe!—is our Creator, our liberator, and our friend. How do we pay homage to a king who is both almighty and merciful, both strong and gentle? By following his lead in the ways we love, in the ways we pursue peace, and in the ways we live for God and for others. We bow before the one who bows and bends and has shown us a better way. We choose to live that better way.
More choral suggestions for Our Lord, Jesus Christ, King of the Universe…
At the Name of Jesus Caroline Maria Noel & Ed Bolduc SATB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar 007351
Clap Your Hands Arr. Greg Scheer. SATB, cantor, flute or piccolo, percussion 005920
El Amor de Dios / God’s Love Is Everlasting Lourdes Montgomery Two-part choir, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar 012649
Fanfare and Processional: He Is King of Kings Arr. Undine Smith Moore SATB, organ, opt. brass sextet, percussion G-6435
He Is King of Kings Arr. Alice Parker SAATB G-4234
Jesus Reigns John Angotti Three-part choir, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar 008485
O God of Love, O King of Peace Arr. Keith S. Kalemba SATB, keyboard, oboe 008730
Rejoice! Be Glad! from Eight Choral Introits for Feasts and Solemnities Richard Proulx SATB a cappella 005862
Tú Reinarás Arr. S. Van Wye SATB, cantor, assembly, organ, opt. brass quartet, timpani 012727
Your Love Will Reign Victorious Mikey Needleman Two-part choir, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar 008053