Friday, October 10, 2008

Wonderful King!

The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, but our Master washed his disciples’ feet. Earthly monarchs are often tyrants; their yoke is heavy, and their language domineering; but it is not so with our King; his yoke is easy, and his burden is light, for he is meek and lowly of heart. He is a shepherd king. He has supremacy, but it is the superiority of a wise and tender shepherd over his needy and loving flock; he commands and receives obedience, but it is the willing obedience of the well-eared-for sheep, rendered joyfully to their beloved Shepherd, whose voice they know so well. He rules by the force of love and the energy of goodness. His power lies not in imperious threatenings, but in imperial lovingkindness. Let the children of Zion he joyful in their King, for “men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed.”

Never people had such a king before. His service is perfect freedom; to be his subject is to be a king; to serve him is to reign. Blessed are the people who are the sheep of his pasture; if they follow in his footsteps their road is safe; if they sleep at his feet no lion can disturb their peace; if they are fed from his hand they shall lie down in green pastures, and know no lack; if they abide close to his person they shall drink of rivers of delight. Righteousness and peace are the stability of his throne, joy and gladness are the ornaments of his reign. Oh! how happy are we who belong to such a prince. Thou King in Jeshurun, we pay thee homage with loyal hearts; we come into thy presence with thanksgiving, and into thy courts with praise, for thou art our God, and we are the people of thy pasture, and the sheep of thy hand.

From a sermon entitled "Christ Is Glorious - Let Us Make Him Known," delivered March 20, 1864. Flickr photo by fauxto_digit; some rights reserved.

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