What an amazing month we now enter, summer is upon us with a series of Bank Holidays, the TT begins towards the end of May and we celebrate the coronation of King Charles 111, Lord of Man.
Spiritually we continue in the season of Easter, rejoicing at the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
Thoughts of kingship and lordship are much in our minds so I would like to explore those titles briefly with you.
As Christians we frequently refer to Jesus as ‘Lord’, we pray ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, share ‘The Lord’s Supper’ and sing of our ‘Lord Jesus Christ’. Similarly, we speak of Jesus as ‘king’ and just before the Advent celebrate the feast of ‘Christ the King’. What do we mean by these titles?
Generally, ‘lord’ applies honour, dignity and authority whilst ‘king’ signifies power and majesty. Throughout the Bible God is referred to as Lord as is Jesus especially after the resurrection.
In the Old Testament ‘Lord’ (in Hebrew ‘Adonai’) means sovereign, such as in Isaiah 6:1 when God calls Isaiah to be a prophet. It indicates that God has supremacy over all things. It also is used as the name of God in the Hebrew scriptures since YHWH was considered too holy to be said.
The name ‘Jesus’ derives from the Greek form of ‘Joshua’ which means ‘the Lord saves’. Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s promise of a Messiah, in him God ‘saves’ all people. This is revealed in Matthew 1:21 where we read ‘you will name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins’. The events of Jesus life, especially the miracles, attest to Jesus supernatural power and authority as well but it is, of course, through his death and resurrection that we see Jesus Lordship most clearly, Lord over the forces of sin and evil. The crucifixion may have been a sign of shame but Pontius Pilate’s sign declaring Jesus a king was an ironic truth! Jesus victory over death opened the way for us to enter the kingdom of heaven where Jesus reigns with God and will be the judge of all in the Last Days.
As we approach the coronation we pray for King Charles 111, Lord of Man, that he will embody the same devotion, temporal and spiritual, as that of his late mother Queen Elizabeth 11. We pray that he will be a lord of peace and king of justice, using his regal power for the benefit of all people, particularly the poor, vulnerable and marginalised. We pray most of all that his reign will point to that of the true King of kings and Lord of Lords. Amen.