Q: Why is Christ the King Sunday on this specific Sunday?

A: Christ the King Sunday is the last Sunday of the church festival calendar.  The church calendar, with which you are familiar, follows this order:

  • Advent—God’s people wait and prepare for the Savior to come.
  • Christmas—The Savior is born.
  • Epiphany—The Savior is revealed to all people.
  • Lent—The people of God repent in preparation for Easter.
  • Easter—The Savior is raised from the dead.
  • Pentecost—The Spirit of the Savior descends upon God’s people.
  • Time after Pentecost—The people of God live in the Spirit.

Christ the King Sunday is always the last Sunday of the Time after Pentecost and the Sunday preceding the first Sunday in Advent.  This Sunday is a transition Sunday that looks backward and forward in the calendar at the same time.  It is like New Year’s Eve.  Often people on New Year’s Eve look back at the past year and remember the joys and the sorrows.  They also have hopes and plans for the new year coming up.  It is the same on Christ the King Sunday.  When we celebrate that Christ is our King, we look back at the Transfiguration, where Christ shone with the glory of God on the mountain top.  We look back at Christ’s ascension into heaven to sit as ruler over us all.  We also look forward to Christ appearing in glory at the end of time to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords forever and ever, alleluia!  It is a big day full of meaning and the capstone of a calendar full of worshiping our Lord.