Sunday is the feast of Christ the King. Last Sunday, Jesus reminded us that even God’s holy temple will fall to the ground. All the institutions of this age will crumble to dust. I am reminded of the poem Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—”Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Daniel 7 shows us four great creatures rising from the sea, kingdoms that are part human, part beast. Like Ozymandias, they are powerful, boastful, brutal and lethal. Then we see the Ancient of Days on his throne. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. The beast was slain. Its body was was destroyed and its carcass cast into the fire.
In the place of the beastly kingdoms comes the kingdom of the Son of Man, the human one, the one who represents true humanity. The kingdom of God is the only truly humane kingdom.
I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14
The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever. Alleluia. Amen.