Monday, November 14, 2011

Control?: Year A, Christ the King Sunday

This Week's Lectionary Texts:

Ezekiel 34:11-24

Psalm 100 or Psalm 95:1-7

Ephesians 1:11-23

Matthew 25:31-46

This Week's Podcast:

This Week's Reflection:
So, what is the deal with all these sheep? We approach the end of another year on the Christian calendar this week. As such, we celebrate the Reign of Christ or Christ, the King Sunday. If you check out the podcast, you will hear Andy mention that one of the reasons we recognize the Reign of Christ is as a reminder of who we are and to whom we belong. He doesn't say it quite that way, but he is used to me putting words into his mouth! He reminded me that it is of the utmost importance that we remember our allegiance is to Jesus, the Christ, first and foremost, above all others including our own nations.

You can find other blogs that will explain exactly why all these sheep references are included in the Christ, the King texts. I'll admit that I'm not a big fan of thinking of myself as a sheep nor am I able to truly comprehend what a good shepherd does with a herd; however, I do see the importance of remembering who I am in the big picture and thinking of myself as a sheep following Jesus isn't so terrible afterall.

There is one word that I have been struggling with all day today and that is CONTROL. I too often think I have it when I really do not and I more than likely will desire to obtain it if someone else nearby has it in their possession. In another life, I was called "stage manager." Now, I'm just a control-freak! So, you can see why this simile of the sheep can be bothersome for me. I'm sure it is just from where I sit right now, but I'm wondering if these texts aren't a reminder to us that we are not King. 

Now, before some of you get too upset, I'm not one of those people who is going to encourage you to beat up your congregations in order to help them see the errors of their ways and come to their senses and avoid the eternal flames. There is something to be said for humility, though.

In the Matthew text, the "good guys" had not recognized the Christ either. It wasn't that they had seen things differently. It was that they had done things differently. Not out of knowing who they were serving, not out of seeking the reward of eternal life, not out of a desire to benefit in any way - these folks had fed the hungry and clothed the naked, visited those in prison and given water to the thirsty. I think that exhibits an abundance of humility and a willingness to lack control. Christ is our King and he reigns eternal. May we seek to share that good news this week.

This Week's Artwork:
(in order of appearance)
Sicilian mosaic at Cefalu'
The Risen Lord by He Qi
Control Key found at
A detail from the mosaic to be unveiled at Christ the King church in Sophiatown, Johannesburg