Reign of Christ

Reign of Christ Sunday - by Wilma Wiens

This Sunday past was the final Sunday of the Western Church’s calendar year. The day affirms and celebrates Jesus Christ as King or Ruler of the universe. The emphasis is on the Church’s first and foremost commitment to the risen and reigning Christ, Jesus. On this day we mark our anticipation of, and longing for Christ's return when God's true intentions for creation are fully accomplished. We wait for this in hope.
Next Sunday we begin a new year with the season of Advent. Over and over again the Church embodies the biblical story. Throughout the year in our weekly liturgy we act out in micro what is happening at the macro level in the grand narrative of God’s relationship of love, grace and justice with the world and with humanity. The purpose of playing out this biblical story year after year is to remind ourselves of the larger Reality in which we live – we live in the reign of Christ. “No one can serve 2 masters,” Jesus said. “You cannot serve God and wealth.” Or to say it another way, “which reality will you choose live in, the ways of the world or the kingdom or reign of God (or Ultimate Reality) that Jesus calls us to participate in?” Repeating this narrative over and over we slowly begin to see how, personally and communally, we are living out this story. It is not only the sacred story of Scripture, it is in fact the sacred story of our lives lived in intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe.
Over the course of the next year I’d like to use this blog to take us through the seasons of the Church year, to remind us of the reasons for the seasons we are in, to remind us of the larger Reality, and to invite us to live more deeply into the divine story of God’s love for the world. I know that I need continual encouragement in this so I do it for my own sake and hope that you will also find it helpful.
For now, the current year is coming to an end. Ordinary Time finds its culmination in the celebration of the Reign of Christ. It is a good time to ask ourselves with whom our ultimate allegiance lies. A traditional Scripture passage for Reign of Christ Sunday is Matthew 25:31-40, the story of the judgment of the nations. It is a good story to reflect on as we consider how Jesus calls us to live and be in relationship with each other in ways that show our commitment to him and his reign on earth.
Reading those verses makes me think of our Oakwood Community Table food-bank and the many people who come to get food and to find friendship. I am grateful that so many of us are involved in that ministry. I’m also reminded of the Hargraves family initiative to cook breakfast once a month and of the supportive housing project that the Kroekers and Hargraves and friends are developing. What wonderful ways of embodying Christ’s love and compassion! In serving and caring for those among us who are in need we are serving and caring for Christ. In significant ways, we are being Church in the world, and in that I am encouraged.
I’ll end with Malcolm Guite’s sonnet, The Feast of Christ the King, written for this final Sunday of the Church year:
Our King is calling from the hungry furrows
Whilst we are cruising through the aisles of plenty,
Our hoardings screen us from the man of sorrows,
Our soundtracks drown his murmur: ‘I am thirsty’.
He stands in line to sign in as a stranger
And seek a welcome from the world he made,
We see him only as a threat, a danger,
He asks for clothes, we strip-search him instead.
And if he should fall sick then we take care
That he does not infect our private health,
We lock him in the prisons of our fear
Lest he unlock the prison of our wealth.
But still on Sunday we shall stand and sing
The praises of our hidden Lord and King.
Malcolm Guite, Sounding the Seasons: Seventy Sonnets for the Christian Year
You can hear Malcolm read this sonnet at
https://malcolmguite.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/for-the-feast-of-christ-the-king/
Posted in

1 Comment


Stephen Murphy - December 2nd, 2018 at 12:57pm

Thanks keep up the good work