Christ the King
- Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
- Psalm 100
- Ephesians 1:15-23
- Matthew 25:31-46
On this final Sunday of the church year our gospel is Jesus’ great story of judgment. In the end, the faithful are those who served Christ by ministering to those who are poor, hungry, naked, sick, or estranged. In the first reading God is the shepherd who seeks the lost, weak, and injured and feeds them with justice. We gather this day to celebrate the reign of Christ and his victory over death, yet known in our loving words and deeds.
Several weeks ago (Proper 25) we were reminded of the greatest commandments: Love God; love neighbor. In today’s gospel, we see that loving our neighbors in need at the margins of society is one way we love God. The king in today’s gospel says, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” This is not a normal ruler. In world of power-hungry rulers, seldom do we see one who insists that we care for the outcast and the oppressed as a way of being faithful servants. On Christ the King Sunday we are again reminded that Christ is not a normal king.
The earliest Christian creed, “Jesus is Lord,” means that Jesus stands above all other earthly power and authority. All through history and into the present moment, choosing God above earthly authority has caused persecution and conflict in the life of the church. The congregation and wider church must witness always to the authority of Jesus Christ, realizing that there will be times when conflict will be the direct result of such witness.
As You Did It to One of the Least of These My Brethren by Robert W. Castle, Jr.
O God, who is old, and lives on fifty dollars a month, in one crummy room and can’t get outside, Help us to see you.
O God, who is fifteen and in the sixth grade, Help us to see you.
O God, who is three and whose belly aches in hunger, Help us to see you, as you have seen us in Jesus Christ our Lord.
O God, who sleeps in a bed with your four brothers and sisters, and who cries and no one hears you, Help us to touch you.
O God, who has no place to sleep tonight except an abandoned car, an alley or deserted building, Help us to touch you.
O God, who is uneducated, unskilled, unwanted, and unemployed, Help us to touch you, as you have touched us in Jesus Christ our Lord.
O God, who is chased by cops, who sits in jail for seven months with no charges brought, waiting for the Grand Jury and no money for bail, Help us to know you.
O God, who is unorganized, and without strength to change your world, your city, your neighborhood, Help us to join you.
O God, who is fed up with it all and who is determined to do something, who is organizing people for power to change the world, Help us to join you, as you have join us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- The 19th Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 25 Year A – October 23, 2011 (prayerbookguide.wordpress.com)
- Christ the King (www.buildfaith.org)