Christ gives us his assurance that he will remember us in his kingdom.
Sisters and Brothers, Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God the Father and Jesus, Christ the King.
We all have stories to tell…short, long, sometimes too long. Today’s story is one of love amidst pain.
We begin at the first Christ the King festival was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925, because the people of the day had “thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives” and “these had no place in public affairs or in politics.” The pope went on to claim “that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations.” This critique of the situation of the world could have been written today, almost 80 years later. One has to wonder how believing people could have failed so miserably to make a change in the world. Have we really accepted Christ as our king? Or do we worship the sovereignty of material things…cars…power…big homes…clothing…retirement funds…bank accounts. Beware - no human system is forever. In fact, I hear that "the market will be what the market will be". Only Christ is sovereign. Under the love of Christ, every "ism" ultimately falls. Even materialism will one day kneel before Christ. The real irony of today is that this festival of Christ the King comes during the height of holiday consumerism. Black Friday….Cyber Monday….
Flashback to 2000 years ago… a little boy born in a wooden manger inside a wooden stable would become a carpenter from
Early Christian teachers took on the task of showing how Jesus fulfilled the ancient faith prophecies of the Jewish people. It became incumbent upon them to place him in the center of
In today's' Gospel story, we hear that some soldiers and even a fellow criminal hanging next to Jesus sarcastically threw the title of King in Jesus' face. Surely if he were truly the chosen one, the King of the Jews, then he could save his mere mortal self. One man present saw through the limits of a royal title bestowed by earthly limitations…the criminal Dismas recognized the true
In the letter to the Colossians,
The final way of determining Christ as our king is in the way the titles relating to God also establish a relationship with us. The Risen Christ is the head of the church – as such, he is personally connected to us, the members of the church…the body of Christ. The church as the body of Christ, becomes the living presence of Christ in this world. Just like Baby Ava today, each of us put on Christ in the waters of baptism and we live that identity - listening for God's Word and receiving Christ in the bread and wine. We become witnesses, a way of making Christ present in this world- a testimony of his real presence in this 21st century life. As such we bring the love of Christ into our offices, our apartment buildings, our neighborhoods, our schools, all of our associations and relationships.
Christ reigns in and through each of us. As such, we are called to be Christ to others, to act with justice, to love tenderly, to serve one another. We are called to be hope for the hopeless, be light for the kingdom. We are called to seek reconciliation where there is alienation, healing where there is brokenness--brokenness in the church, brokenness in this nation, brokenness in this world. This is our mission. This is our story. Christ not only gives us assurance of the day when God will reign, but he calls on us to be reconciled to one another and work for peace. Christ commands that we confront whatever injustices we encounter, wherever we encounter them in this world, and resolve them peacefully. He is head of the church and becomes present in this world each time you and I make him sovereign in our own lives.
Last month we heard Reverend Barb Bolson of Night Ministries tell about the 2500 people they serve each year in
This final Sunday of the liturgical year, we have the chance to choose to reconnect with Christ. Today is Christ the King Sunday. Today God says to you and me. “I love you. No matter what your situation, I will be with you in the midst of your pain. Today you will be with me in paradise.”
For as Christ reigned on the cross, he has given us his assurance through times of turmoil that he will remember us in his kingdom.
So, now you are wondering - what can you do today or this week to bring Christ’s reign into the life of another? To whom will you tell this Christ the King story?