The Motley Crew

Christ the King.jpg

Christ the Pantocrator; mosaic in the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Sermon Reflection for Sunday, November 25 | Respectfully Submitted by Mal Underwood

On this last Sunday after Pentecost, Christ the King Sunday, Mo. Mary told us a Thanksgiving family story whereby her son Andy told each of his nephews that each of their Pokémon cards were the BEST card ever.  The second nephew called Uncle Andy on his attempt at diplomacy, unhappy that both were told they had the best while knowing that wasn’t possible.  Mo. Mary told Andy that he had been judged and discovered inadequate.  The Gospel lesson from John tells of Pilate’s attempt at judging Jesus.  When attempting to trap Jesus into calling himself a king, which he would not do, Pilate was found lacking the fortitude to go against the Jewish religious establishment and declare Jesus innocent of the charges brought against him.  Pilate himself has since been judged endlessly across the centuries.

Mo. Mary reminded us that now is a good time to evaluate what Christ the King means to us.  This is the time that we stand before our King and strive to move from a place of spiritual emptiness to fullness so that we experience a more meaningful life of spiritual growth.  Our life in the liturgical year is about setting aside worship of self and growing more and more into the Christ-like life of spiritual maturity.  It is not easy – many tend to stumble on who Jesus is, especially as our ultimate judge.  Many may feel unworthy to worship in the house of God.  A monk once told Kathleen Norris that Jesus is the hardest part of Christianity to grasp as both redeemer and judge. Norris responded by saying she felt Jesus at work most in the worship service – just look at the motley crew assembled in his name, in which she included herself.

We all feel a little broken, in decline, and imperfect at times.  But still we all gather together somehow, imperfections and all, to worship the King of Kings.  Our whole motley crew is joined together in Jesus Christ who draws us in through his spiritual, life-sustaining power.  We should always remember we are all part of the Christian family, imperfect but redeemed and saved through the healing power of the Lamb of God.  We are all called to participate in the incarnation of our Savior Christ.

Mo. Mary concluded her message with these questions:

Who do you say is the one who is called King?

Where is his kingdom?

How do you pay him homage throughout the year?

Have you had a dry year spiritually?  If so, what will you do about it?

To what and to whom are you really committed?

As we ponder these questions we are to remember and worship the one who has the power to draw us closer to him and in doing so, draws us closer to one another in love.