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All Hail

Posted on Dec 13, 2017 by in The Scrawl |

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I was driving the family about this evening, treating them to the Christmas lights. When you’re unemployed and need to give your children a thrill, you get creative. We were listening to Christmas music of the varied kinds on offer through a Spotify playlist. It was the standard, classic versions with Bing and Frank and The Pogues. The songs were rolling over and past me as they are wont to do without my mind taking purchase on any one of them. Instead, I just hummed and sang and forgot them as quickly as they registered; sort of a Yuletide autopilot.

And then Do You Hear What I Hear? came on.

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king,
do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold
Let us bring Him silver and gold
Let us bring Him silver and gold

Said the king to the people everywhere,
listen to what I say,
“Pray for peace, people everywhere!”
listen to what I say,
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light

Yes, I hummed and sang along to the parts I remembered, but something about this jabbed into my consciousness. Something about this idea pestered me. The idea of the kingship of God, in helpless babe, struck me anew. And I wondered about the very idea of kingship. All thoughts have an origination. Sure, maybe someone had put chocolate and peanut butter together before Reese’s, but we all look at them as the standard.

So thinking through the kingship of God, the language that describes Him as king, the way the bible elevates him to this place of authority. And I wondered about it because before Jesus, every king from Melchizedek to Herod was either a tribute or an impostor. They ruled either to tell the story of the King to come, or they ruled to tell the story of the King they were not. Every king.

Every king this world has ever seen tells us something about God. Whether we call them kings or presidents or premieres or prime ministers, the idea is the same. A ruler, granted authority by blood or by tradition or by decree or by law or by mob, is still just a shadow. The shape they cast is one of Jesus or it’s one that will make you shudder and long for the real King.

American Cultural Christianity, the way of the White Evangelical Protestant, is losing the grip upon its mask made from the skin and blood of those it has trampled and oppressed. And in losing that mask, in losing that grip, the real King shows up in stark contrast. James Dobson blesses a monster. Pastors across Alabama bless a child predator. Because, like the people of Israel before Saul, they demand an imitation that’s more like them than the better, truer God Man.

Oh what a King. What a true King that the storms and the waves obey His rule. Oh what a marvel, what a joy it is to see the King who, by His very rule, brings worth to His people. That instead of requiring that we bow and scrape and grovel… took to the dust to wash our feet. Oh what a King!

It’s personally convicting to me, too. It’s clear that I tell the story of King in my own life, one way or the other. I tell the world the king or the King I serve. I extol and sing and shout it out loud in my silent pauses and in my tears. Oh what a marvelous King.

This post doesn’t fit a mold or a pattern or anything. It’s just my thoughts. Love them or leave them.