Luke 1:78-79 (NRSV)
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Christ the King Sunday is my favorite Sunday of the year. From my childhood I hear the beautiful, bellowing, tremorous vibrato voice of Greg, a deep bass, singing All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name (UMH 155).
All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall, let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown (sopranos and altos lilting the melodic eighth note runs and tenors and basses resounding “crown him,” from the depths)…him,
Crown him, crown him, crown him,
and crown him Lord of all.
This is the kind of piece that makes me sing praise for being able to sing praise.
It makes me smile, my eyes brim with tears, and I am overwhelmed with the invitation to celebrate being in the world but not of the world.
This Sunday moves the last on the list to the first on the list, and prioritizes my agenda to “like” my sacred identity. Christ the King demands my attention to align my living with the sacred invitation of both God’s faithful preparation of the living for the labors of a new heaven and a new earth. And God’s grace to give light to the darkness in the sacrifice of His Son.
Before we begin Advent (Dec. 1)—the beginning of the Christian year—(when we start anew and prepare our hearts for Christmas—the beginning of all beginnings) we celebrate Christ the King Sunday—the end of the liturgical year. We remember the suffering, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus—the end to all ends.
I can be a part of the celebration. I can be useful and durable in my journey. I can sing a new song, and I can mark Kairos (sacred time) rather than chronos (common time).
Christ the King Sunday is the New Year’s Eve of the Christian year. It flashes the brilliance of God’s design in human and divine form—Jesus—the beginning and end, the key and lock, the heart and beat. Mark time differently—because you can! Set your resolve in the new year of the Christian life to unplug your temptations, put the busy-ness out to dry, strike your “it’s just been so crazy-s!” out of your script and make the best the first. The best that fills you up and sends you forth to be the light of Christ. Calendar worship, Sunday school, bible study, youth group, choir, and outreach first. The rest will make way—and above all else you will honor your relationship with your Creator and your relationship with others on the faith journey.
Dispel the darkness of a consumer faith—where one is tempted to fill the cup, so to speak, and only when it has run completely dry come back for a fleeting refill. By God’s grace the cup is refillable—keep watch; the refillable cup must be tended with care. Care that gives regular attention to the relationships we are granted. A dry cup can result in brokenness—broken covenant in our relationship with God and our relationship with others.
Live in the moments that matter most, not in the matters that steal all of your moments.
Take care in the New Year to bring your cup and yourself into the light.
Christ the King is the moment of now. The waiting is over. God’s work is done.
Give thanks with your life by walking out of the darkness into the light.
Christ is Risen!
Crown Him Lord of all
– Heidi K. Greenwood Doell