From the Very Rev. Kristina Maulden
Giving Thanks and Christ the King
This coming week marks a turn in the liturgical calendar. We are moving out of ordinary time and into the beginning of the church calendar with the arrival of Advent 1 on December 1st. I think it is good to look beyond the turkey and the trimmings, paying attention instead to the message of Christ the King.
Those words, ordinary time, might sound jarring and out of touch if we are honest about the divisions and conflicts in our own times. The emotions and nerves of great numbers of people are exposed within the scope of gun violence, immigration, politics in specific and in general, gender, sexuality, race, poverty, climate change. Pick any topic for Thanksgiving Day dinner with friends and family and the feast may turn feisty. This does not feel like ordinary times. We hold our convictions deeply and we are not afraid to share them. Gentleness and love have become submerged in the necessity of pushing for what we believe is right.
Entering into this tension, with no fear or anger, comes Christ the King. Jesus, who emptied himself of the glory of heaven so that God might become incarnate and sanctify this human life, comes to stay. This is he who bore our sufferings, washed dirty feet, allowed people in power to accuse him falsely, witnessed and experienced pain, forgave the most vile and loves us to the moon and back. This is Christ the King.
As we prepare to welcome Jesus again throughout the season of Advent, think on these things. Bear with one another. Lift each other up. Clothe the naked. Feed the hungry. As to people who are captive in any way, set them free. Help the blind to see and the lame to walk. And while you are at it, forgive yourself for not being Jesus. The best we can offer is a servant’s heart as we attempt to follow this way of love.