So you are a king?

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?”
         Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king.
         For this I was born, and for this I came into the world,
         to testify to the truth.
         Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

                  —John 18.37

No, you are not a king.
You claim no authority, or power.
You will not come now or in end times
to conquer, to coerce, even to insist.
You neither receive nor offer
the smugness of supremacy.
You are not a king in a beggar’s disguise,
but a beggar,
not clinging to heaven, but utterly empty,
choosing the life of a slave
in suffering, weakness and rejection
sure to confuse our earthly delusion.

No, you are not a king—
but what word do we have
for love that can’t be defeated,
love that triumphs even in tattered lives,
that turns back even our worst sin?
What word do I have for the One
who stands over all that I fear,
whose love orders my life
like the laws of physics,
whose gravity holds me so?
What word do I have
for one who so owns me
and sets me free,
for a love that gives me
my life, true and radiant,
rising from my own ruins,
and— I am powerless over it—
makes me want to follow,
to obey with all of my being?

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at)

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