Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church—November 22, 2015
This morning on my way to church I saw that one of the corn fields was covered in Canada Geese. That field, like all those around, had been harvested weeks ago and then reduced to stubble. The geese were gathering up the kernels of corn and other bits and pieces left behind by the farm equipment, and feasting on the remains of the harvest. Perhaps they were fortifying themselves, preparing for a journey south; or perhaps they are among the thousands of year-round residents, enjoying a free meal. Whatever the case, they are a reminder that we share this planet and its bounty with all of God’s creatures, large and small. Like so many others, I have been horrified, angered and saddened by the terrorism visited on people, mostly young men and women, in Paris last Friday. These are the same feelings I have just about every day these days when innocents in various parts of the world are killed, wounded or displaced by violence, whether it is by terrorists or so called ‘legitimate’ armed forces. The flood of refugees fleeing violence and death has filled our media and our awareness. In the USA we may feel somewhat buffered by two large oceans – but the modern day world is closer to us than ever before through the genius of technology. And our awareness of the plight of fellow men, women and children and all of God’s creatures is before us every day. We can choose to look away, but that doesn’t make them go away. We can exclude them from our midst, but is that who we want to be as Americans, or more to the point, as followers of Jesus, the Christ?
This Sunday is the last Sunday in the church year, and is known as Christ the King, or The Reign of Christ. In the gospel, we see Jesus before Pilate after his arrest. Pilate asks him, “So, you are a king?” Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."* And what is it that the voice of Jesus continues to say to those who would follow him? We see it throughout the gospels: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for those in need, welcome the stranger and the outcast ... I could go on and on. And, many, many times, Jesus says to his followers, “Do not be afraid.” That is the Truth of Jesus, that is the Truth of the Reign of Christ.
Let us pray:
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Peace and blessing,