Pastor Paul Harris
Christ the King/Reign of Christ Sunday
This Sunday we worship God and
recognize a special day in the Christian calendar: The Reign of Christ or Christ the King Sunday. It was started in the Roman Catholic faith tradition in 1925 by Pope Pious XI (Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti) to offer a counter-cultural celebration in the church in contrast to the worldwide rise in secular ultra-nationalism. This pope's motto was "Pax Christi in Regno Christi" which translated "The Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ."
As United Methodists, especially after the Second Vatican Council (October 1962 - December 1965), we have taken on significant liturgical Sundays such as this along with many mainline Christian denominations in an ecumenical understanding of our faith. This Sunday is the concluding week of the Christian liturgical year. It is also the Sunday before Thanksgiving. And it is the Sunday preceding the start of our Advent season leading to Christmas.
There is much to celebrate and there is much to give thanks for in our lives. I believe there is also much to question:
How is it that Christ can be king of our lives?
What kingdom are we serving?
Does Jesus usher in a new reign or rule of God in our lives, for the church, for the world?
How does the imagery of cross and crown come together in Jesus?
When we think of Christ’s lordship, the text from the Colossians 1 passage speaks to the preeminence of Jesus and his Lordship over all creation. At the same time, Christ is one who was crucified like a standard criminal, offering forgiveness up until his final breath. (See Luke 23:33-43)
23:39 One of the criminals who was hanged there kept deriding Jesus and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Put together, these scripture readings paint an image of Christ as our crucified God who reconciles the whole world to himself through his death and Resurrection.
Please accept our invitation to join in worship this Sunday November 20th at Manchaca UMC or online at www.facebook.com/manchacaumc