Christ the King, AGM

Today is the Feast of Christ the King, or, the Reign of Christ if you are wanting to be gender neutral! The Feast is set aside by the church to celebrate the authority and lordship of Jesus Christ. The lectionary epistle text set down for today affirms this.

15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20 God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Ephesians 1:15-23

The text is a prayer of St. Paul offered on behalf of the church in Ephesus. An interesting aspect of the text is the prayer is not said for an individual, but a community. At its heart is community and this community is the church, Christ’s body. John E. Cole observes the implications of this communalism evident in the text: ‘As the church celebrates the Reign of Christ, it is reminded, through this great prayer in Ephesians, of an inheritance that is much more than individual riches or even a beautiful heaven that waits. It is the gift of being joined to Christ’s body, becoming an authentic community (koinonia), to journey alongside one another in the way of Jesus Christ’. i.

Some lyrics of a hymn by Shirley Erena Murray (ii) captures the essence of this:

Community of Christ,
who make the cross your own,
live out your creed and risk
Your life for God alone:
the God who wears your face,
to whom all worlds belong,
whose children are of every race
And every song.
Community of Christ,
look past the Church’s door
and see the refugee,
the hungry, and the poor.
Take hands with the oppressed,
the jobless in your street,
take towel and water,
that you wash your neighbour’s feet.

Today, also is our AGM, to review the previous year and make decisions regarding our life in the community. Along with administrative matters to attend to, I trust, the mission of God will be front and centre of our deliberations. As a community seeking Christ in all people may you ponder a little more, Paul’s prayer and the lyrics to Shirley Erena Murray’s hymn.

i. In David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor et al, Feasting On The Word, Year A Vol.4, Westminster John Knox Press, Kentucky, 2011, p330.

ii ©1992 Hope Publishing Co, IL. Together in Song 473

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