Today the church celebrates Christ the King. What a great festival to end the liturgical year and face us into the new year with Advent, preparing for Christmas: ‘Emmanuel, God with us’.
The Gospel reading for Christ the King (Year A) is Matthew 25:31-40 This passage records Jesus identifying himself, using his common self-designation ‘Son of Man’, with his coming in glory accompanied by all the angels to sit on the throne of his glory. An extraordinary claim!
We remember Pilate’s question to Jesus: “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Pilate followed this up with a sign that he ordered to be placed on the cross on which Jesus was crucified. It read, “jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews … and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek.” – John 19:19-20
The Latin version of the notice is “INRI” which stands for “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum” – “Jesus (of) Nazareth, King (of the) Jews”. [Note: Latin doesn’t have a ‘J’ so an ‘I’ is used]
I introduced the sermon using the catchy “Stir-up” from the collect of the day and also the link to Christmas pudding! – all about being ready for our King and our getting on with loving God, God’s world and a reminder to prepare the Christmas pudding! See, Stir-up Sunday.
“Why should we be stirred up?” leads to the text of the passage. See our Diocesan resources for 20 November.
Just a few comments:
- I noted that Christ the King rules not through rules but through love. Therefore duty to Christ the King has no limits, because love has no limits.
- It seems to me that KPIs are never attained, because love is always opening new possibilities.
- In law we do the deed and it is sufficient: the law is fulfilled.
- In love the deed is not sufficient because every impulse, every emotion, every thought is held by the inner grip of love.
- St Martin of Tours giving half his cloak to a beggar is but one example from church history.
*What examples of caring for the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and imprisoned come from my own life and experience of God’s people?
I should also mention that following today’s worship service the Anglican Men’s Society did a BBQ and we were given hospitality by Martin and Susie Dumaresq at the historic Mount Ireh Estate.
A wonderful Feast Day of Christ the King at Christ Church Illawarra. Thank you to the Parish of Longford/Perth.