The following are a few excerpts from a sermon preached by Peter Haresnape at Wine Before Breakfast on January 24.
Growing up in England, Elizabeth was the queen, Maggie was the Prime Minister, Kathryn Janeway was the captain, Margaret was the pastor, and my Mum was in charge. And now, 2023, men seem to be everywhere. We have men prime ministers, men popular entertainers, and even men preachers. And now, a man queen…
A king can symbolise concepts that are hard to grasp. The Crown in right of Canada represents the immaterial presence of authority and power, the power that lies behind the institutions of courtroom, cabinet, and cop. It’s the assertion of sovereignty over vast tracts of land, on the basis that the Crown holds the land on behalf of the Indigenous nations, administering it in their best interests. It’s a complicated legal fiction designed to make it hard for Indigenous nations to have their land rights recognized, and simple enough for the citizens of Canada to believe. A king can be very helpful.
So the people say, ‘give us a king’. And why not? These are the elders of Israel, speaking on behalf of the whole nation. ‘Give us a king’, because Samuel the Judge and Priest and Prophet is old, and his sons are corrupt, and there are no more righteous judges. The days of Deborah and Gideon have gone, the old days when God called leaders to respond to specific problems. They want an end to the uncertainty, a permanent king and army and state, like other nations.
In the fullness of time, God sends someone into the line of King David, in the form of a prophet, with the authority of the judge. And this person is plunged into the pain of the world, filled with the Holy Spirit, and tempted with three great temptations – hunger, safety, and power. And he says ‘worship God’. And this person is acclaimed as a healer and a miracle worker, a teacher and storyteller, and he says ‘God’s kingdom is here’. And this person forms an army of outcasts and insiders, and marches on the capital, and says nothing to those who demand his life.
And these rulers crown him, and raise him up, and call him the King, and kill him.
This is God’s solution to the violence of the world. The true King who holds absolute power of life and death, who could summon angel armies and darkness and blight, but who chooses to forgive. This is God’s solution. This is God’s Kingship. And this Kingship undoes every abuse of power and every claim to innocence. This Kingship exposes every tyrant’s pretension and every strongman’s terror. . . .
To read all of Peter’s sermon, see his website.