This is known as Christ the King Sunday and it is the last Sunday of the year, the liturgical Church Calendar year that is. Jesus, in the assigned Gospel text for this Sunday speaks to why His followers must often be counter cultural.
Covenant participates in some social justice work with Faith in Action Alabama (FIAA). FIAA describes its mission as “A multifaith, multiracial organization that works to honor God by achieving systemic change to create pathways of opportunity for all Alabamians.” At the meeting that lead to the revitalization of FIAA, a woman Pastor from New Orleans asked the 60 plus clergy people gathered, “Are you a priest of the empire or a prophet of the resistance?” A priest of the empire is one who has bought in to the actions of the government even when it conflicts with God’s two greatest commandments of love. A prophet of the resistance challenges any policy or practice, even by government (the empire), that holds people captive to and by fear, the enemy of love.
The term “Christ the King” is often replaced with “The Reign of Christ” to emphasize a call for “Allegiance to a Strange Kind of King” (Christ) who said that “My Kingdom doesn’t originate from this world.” (John 18:36, CEB) This strange King connected His rule to humble service and commanded His followers to be servants that do likewise. In establishing “Christ the King Sunday,” the hope was that the faithful would gain the strength and courage to allow Christ to reign in their hearts and minds and is reflected in their actions and deeds, in the living of their lives.
Join us Sunday at Covenant as we observe “Christ the King Sunday.” The sermon, “The Reign of Christ: Allegiance to This Strange Kind of King,” will challenge us to experience God’s love and live out that love toward others. The assigned scriptures are Revelations 1:4b-8 and John 18:3-37.