“Crown Him With Many Crowns” on the organ, which we hardly ever hear any more, woke me up:
That’s right, it’s Christ the King Sunday!
In spite of proofing the order of service (which mentioned it), and going to choir practice (when we talked about it), and knowing full well that next Sunday is the First Sunday in Advent (which comes after it), I had forgotten what today was. And because the day came as a surprise, the idea of the day burst open like a firework: that’s right, Christ is the King, the Ruler, the Leader.
That may have meant more than usual because we had talked in class about how supporting – outfitting, providing – our faith with “goodness (excellence, virtue) and goodness with knowledge (the personal kind, the immediate kind), and knowledge with self-control (self-mastery), and self-control with endurance (cheerful), and endurance with godliness (piety, that is, doing in all our relationships what is proper to do), and godliness with mutual affection (the love of friends for one another), and mutual affection with love (the agape kind)” (2 Peter 1:5-7) is a lot of work …
… which is not “works righteousness” by any means, is not to be confused with us “earning” our salvation, but instead is “living it” as one person said, is living a way of life that grows out of “the knowledge of the one who called us” …
… amounting to “the Christian way of life.”
This in turn may have meant more to me because our family has been binge-watching Fresh Off the Boat this past week, soaking up its comic reflections on different cultures – different ways of life.
Anyway, I sat there thinking … that’s right, it’s “Christ the King Sunday”!
Christ is our Leader.
Christ’s realm, the kingdom “not of this world,” is the “homeland.” Christians are aliens, citizens of that different, other commonwealth; the way of life of that commonwealth is odd in relation to the society and the world around us. Even if we are like 2nd- or 3rd-generation immigrants, having to learn about that way of life at the cultural center, and from our parents and our extended family, because we were born and raised here, “away from home,” in a place that doesn’t support the Jesus way of life, even actively undermines it.
Some people might think of us as having “divided loyalties” because of that. But they shouldn’t. Our loyalties are not divided.
They’re with Jesus all the way.