In the ancient world, to be king – or pharaoh, or emperor – was understood to be raised up by one of the gods; perhaps even to be a living god or son of a god. Christianity modified this view, to consider rulers as taking up and being removed from office at least by divine permission. It did so under the world-changing belief that Jesus was king of the nations, which is not only to proclaim him king over all peoples everywhere, but to proclaim him so by appointment of – and a sharing in identity with – the God over all gods, of every realm. So fully did the early church identify Jesus with God that they considered creation to have been brought into being by him.
In this world view, everything points beyond its current state to an awaited fulfilment – or realignment – achieved through the person of Jesus.
For this we still wait. And for this, we are being refashioned, as from clay, to be those who are shaped not for what is but for what is to come.
O Rex Gentium
O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.