O King of Nations, Come!
Readings: Zechariah 9:9-10 / 1 Peter 2:4-6
O Rex Gentium,
et desideratus earum,
qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.
O King of nations,
the ruler they long for,
the cornerstone uniting all people:
Come and save us all,
whom you formed out of clay.
Jesus is both King and Cornerstone. As King, he governs by His gracious reign of forgiveness and peace as the King of kings. As Cornerstone, He sets all the angles square and unites His church together as one in spite of our sad divisions..
He is the potter, we are the clay. He is the King, we are His
subjects. He is the Cornerstone, we are living stones built into a
temple for His Name. We want this, and then again, we don’t want it.
The sinful nature resents the potter, refuses the king, resists the
cornerstone. Sin is the overthrow of God’s reign, the attempt to be a
god in place of God. It is the rebellion of the clay against the
potter who shaped it. It is our attempt to determine the lines of our
future and destiny, to be our own cornerstone.
The outcome is chaos and death. A kingdom in which everyone is king is
no kingdom at all. It is anarchy. A building in which every stone is
the cornerstone is a pile of rubble. Individualism ends in isolation.
It is death to family, to community. It was not good that man was
alone. God sets us into community. Sin erects walls, both visible and
invisible, barriers to community. We define the boundaries of our own
little kingdoms and vow to defend them to the death.
Christ has come as King and Cornerstone. His coming was without the
trappings of royalty. A virgin mother. A manger crib. A borrowed
donkey. Royal robes worn in mockery and scorn. His crown was made of
thorns. His throne was a cross. He is a beggar king in a kingdom of
The crucified King is the King of kings. The rejected stone is the
cornerstone. As His second advent draws ever nearer, we are reminded
that His kingdom is not of this world, that His rule is eternal, that
He conquers with the sword of His Word. As His baptized believers, we
are privileged to enjoy His reign even now through faith, to live under
Him in His kingdom, and to serve Him in everlasting righteousness,
innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives
and reigns to all eternity.
Oh, come, Desire of nations, bind In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, And be Thyself our King of Peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel!