Reflections for 22 November 2020

Sunday 22nd November

Christ the King

 

 

Readings:

Ezekiel 34:11-16,20-24

Psalm 95

Ephesians 1:15-end

Matthew 25:31-end

 

We pray:

O God of peace,

whose Son Jesus Christ proclaimed the kingdom

and restored the broken to wholeness of life:

look with compassion upon the anguish of the world

and, by thy healing power,

make whole both people and nations;

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 

Today is the last Sunday in the church year – the last Sunday before Advent.

 

The First Sunday of Advent is New Year’s Day for the church and a new cycle of lectionary readings (year ‘B’) will begin.

 

So, before we move into Advent, we are encouraged to reflect on Christ as King – the cosmic nature of Christ.

 

This before we begin to prepare once again for the Advent (coming) of Christ as God within us – the incarnational nature of Christ at Christmas.

 

Some musings:

 

At this time of year, the readings take on an apocalyptic air – ‘apocalyptic’ meaning hidden/secret.

 

Hidden that is from the uninitiated – in this way, the faithful are encouraged to ‘keep on keeping on’ for what we see is not all there is.  This is particularly important at times of persecution, as in the books of Daniel and Revelation. There is another ‘reality’.

 

Such writings are therefore full of symbolic meanings that are intended to be understood by those ‘in the know’ and their meaning hidden from outsiders.

 

As you probably have picked up by now (!) I am very interested in the importance of the symbolic and increasingly concerned that we tend to read scripture in too literal a way and by so doing miss out on valuable interpretation and insight.  As today’s passage illustrates, we are ‘at our best’ when we are not consciously aware of what we are doing.

 

This brings together those two aspects of Christ that are so paramount at this time of year – the cosmic and the incarnational.

 

The more we can find Christ within us, the more we realise the autonomy of that which lies within – the more incarnational, the more cosmic and vice versa.

 

As C. S. Lewis, through one of his ‘Narnia’ characters, once said of the lion, Aslan, who represents Christ,

 

‘He is not a tame lion, you know.’

 

The more we are able to trust that which lies within (the incarnational Christ), the more we will be able to see beyond our narrow vision of ourselves and the more we will be able to access that which has potential beyond our wildest imaginings – and control!

(the cosmic Christ.)

 

‘Whoever has will be given more.’        (Luke 8:18)

 

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To put it another way:

 

Today is also ‘Stir-up Sunday’.

 

And this is what we are encouraged to do:

 

‘Put on your best Christmas playlist,

put some mulled wine on to simmer

and get mixing those Christmas puddings!’

 

And we pray:

 

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord,

the wills of thy faithful people;

that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,

may of thee be plenteously rewarded;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

And there we have it: the incarnational and the cosmic

 

Only believe!