In 1925 Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King. In that year Stalin had taken power in Russia, Mussolini established his dictatorship in Italy, and Hitler published Mein Kampf.

Pius saw both fascist and communist totalitarianism as a kind of idolatry, worshipping brute force above the claims of humanity and compassion.

He wanted to remind the world that Christ’s kingship is about love, not power. Christ reigns from the cross, crowned with thorns, and says, ’Father forgive; they know not what they do’.

In The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Aslan the Lion King has to die on the altar because the Law said that each offence must have a victim in payment – an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

But when the Lion King offers himself as an innocent victim out of love for the guilty, a deeper Law from before the Dawn of Time comes into play, and then, as Aslan puts it, ‘Death itself starts working backwards’, and the cycle of vengeance and violence and dog eat dog is broken.

Christians believe that, contrary to the way the world works, and contrary to our natural instincts to dominate and grab, the King on the Cross is God.

He is the heart of the universe that was made by him and for him. And that’s why the power of Love, not the power of force, is the ultimate authority and the ultimate victory.

This is our God, the Servant King. He calls us now to follow him.