The early Christians were accused of being political traitors. The accusation was that, “these [Christians] all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus (Acts 17:7).” Upon hearing the apostles’ teaching, the pagans concluded that Jesus wouldn’t fit politely in some corner of “the tapestry of human expression.” They realized what many Christians today don’t, which is that the preaching of Jesus is in diametric opposition to earthly kingdoms’ claims to sovereignty and ultimate authority.
Christ’s gospel isn’t intended to pedal in tandem with earthly kingdoms. It subdues kingdoms under it (Ps. 47:3). The Gospel of King Jesus isn’t content to simply run parallel with other kings. Rather, the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honour unto Christ (Rev. 21:24). The Good News of great joy, of which the angel choirs sang over Bethlehem, isn’t intended to stay confined as a “private and deeply held personal belief.” To be exact, this good news is to be taught to all nations, and they’re expected to obey everything which Christ commanded (Mt. 28:19-20).
That’s the gospel which this meal heralds. It tells of Christ’s kingdom; a kingdom which shall have no end; where justice and truth reign; where sins are passed over, envies are dispelled, evil is cast out; a kingdom before which every other kingdom is obliged to bow, and every earthly ruler must do homage. Here we each lay down our claim to some imagined sovereignty over our sliver kingdoms. Here we confess that we are citizens of the heavenly Zion. Here we proclaim our fealty, and invite the kings and nations to join us in communion with our heavenly Lord: the Prince of glory and our King of love.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus