Christ does not reign in the world and everyone isn’t likely to suddenly convert to Christianity (nor should they). So this day of recognizing Christ’s reign has to be more personal in the lives of Christians. We are the ones who claim Christ and embody Christ today. The fact that we proclaim Christ as King or Lord or Sovereign , does not mean that other faith claims are less valid. For Christians it’s important that we live what we believe without condemning other religions. Christ reigns in our lives and in our churches. While we can’t control what anyone else is or is not doing in Christ’s name, we can stop and evaluate what we have done in Christ’s name. It isn’t about what being Christian means to me or you, but about what you and (photo from pdphoto.org) I have done for Christ’s sake, literally.
Jeremiah speaks to the shepherds of God’s people. He condemns those who have scattered the people while they are in charge of their care. I think this a great metaphor for the kind of spiritual self-evaluation I intend. If I take an honest look at my life over the last year, I can see where I have nurtured in Christ’s name and where I have scattered God’s people. Have I prayed as much or more than I have complained? Have I shared Christ’s love and extended mercy when I should have? Do I live each day relying on Christ or do I only turn toward God when crisis hits? Could anyone tell by looking at my life that Christ reigns in it and over it?
These are essential year-end questions. They should be asked and answered before the rush of the Advent season begins. How better to prepare for the coming of Christ anew into our lives than to take some time to look at where we have not allowed Christ to be? There are plenty of places in the world where Christ seems not to be, but if we start by examining our own lives and our church lives we do change the world.
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
[On a completely different note, it seems that many of you reading my blog lately are in Australia. Thank you for reading and please take a moment to say hello!]
RCL – Year C – Reign of Christ Sunday – November 24, 2013
Jeremiah 23:1-6 with Luke 1:68-79 or
Jeremiah 23:1-6 with Psalm 46