This Sunday before Thanksgiving is “Christ the King” Sunday. One of the original purposes for the designation of this Sunday as such was to help the faithful gain strength and courage and to be reminded that regardless of the circumstances of their lives or even what’s going on in the world or our lives, when Christ reigns in our hearts, minds, wills and bodies, we have hope!
The recent Presidential election made many happy, and made even more sadder, since the winner got less votes than the loser. CNN asked American voters how they were feeling about the outcome of the election and thousands responded. The four words chosen to reflect those responses were: Devastated. Ecstatic. Afraid. Hopeful. These four words symbolizes the hopes of those who voted for the winning candidate and the despair of those who voted against him. The reality is that no matter who won, these same four words would have been the responses to the outcome. After all, the fever pitch of the distrust of authority has so taken over in this country, that it has caused individualism to be embraced to such an extreme, that for many, the only authority is the individual self. The danger for Christians embracing such individualism is that it leaves no room for God; nor ALL of the teachings of Jesus Christ. And Christ the King as ruler is rejected in such a strongly individualistic society in favor of a Christ made in our image, instead of us being conformed to Christ’s image.
Jesus, who knew the oppressive nature of secular rulers and in contrast to them, connected His role as king to humble service and commanded His followers to be servants as well. He said, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to become great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45, NAB).
The celebration of Christ the King Sunday, the week of Thanksgiving, is a good opportunity to step back from all the responses to this election and perhaps put it all into a better and more livable perspective. No matter what this next Presidency brings, as Christians we can all be thankful, we can always count on God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love because “Christ is King!”
Join us at Covenant for worship this Sunday before Thanksgiving. I will be preaching on “Be Thankful, Christ is King!” It’s based on “Colossians 1:11-20” and “Luke 1:68-69, 77-79.”