Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

Sunday Next before Advent - The Feast of Christ the King

Sunday next before Advent – The Feast of Christ the King

Readings: Ezekiel 34:11-16 & 20-24, Psalm 95: 1-7, Ephesians 1:15-23, Matthew25: 31-46

Let us Pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen

A word from Barbara (our Curate): Today, in the church calendar, is known as Christ The King Sunday. For the Church, this Sunday is the final Sunday of the Liturgical Calendar. The celebrations and festivals for the year are over and the Church calendar starts again, a continuous journey.

What does this mean for us, for you and I, in today’s world? For some this Sunday is about how “Christ The King celebrates the full authority of Christ as King and Lord of the universe£ officially called “the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ the King”. What does “Christ The King” mean to us, as Christians and as individuals in our everyday lives? For us this could be a time to reflect on such things: on the celebrations and seasons of the Anglican calendar through the year and all that has been celebrated and taught; the looking at and learning about the life of Christ and where we are in our own personal journeys; and what sort of King is Christ - from our own perspectives. Also, how we have dealt with and are dealing with all that has happened and is happening at this time in our world? Reflection can help us to see: how our faith has grown, changed and been tested; and how much we have learnt over the past year with regards to our faith and where Christ our King is in all this.

Our Readings can help give us guidance and understanding. In Ezekiel, two words stand out for me: shepherd and sheep. This reading talks about how the sheep will be looked after, how we as God’s children will be looked after by God. The Lord will look for the lost, the injured will be tended to and the weak will be strengthened.

So, have we acknowledged the presence of Christ as King in our lives, all that Christ is and how much he cares for and does for us? How we worship, praise God and try to live according to The Word given to us is important. Our roles on earth goes back to all the teachings of the Bible. It tells us how we are to live and look after each other, as well as the poor, the lonely and basically all those in need, for we are called to care for each other in love. For, Christ The King is a God of love, a God who has placed us a little lower than the angels (see Hebrews 2:6 and 7). For me, Christ The King Sunday is a time for exploring who our God is as the ruler over: heaven and earth, all people and nations, not to mention the whole of nature. God is King/Christ The King, he is our Father and as his children, we are expected to live in love, and follow Christ’s example by living in love too (see Matthew 34-40). Christ our King will be coming back and when he does will be separating the sheep from the goats (see Matthew 31-33). As we journey as Christians, what will Christ The King say to us? Will it be as in verse 40 of Matthew’s Gospel for today: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”?

I will be using this Sunday to ponder what Christ The King Sunday means to me and what sort of King is Christ in my eyes. I will be reflecting over the church calendar and what I have learnt over the year, the challenges I have faced, the changes I have made and may continue to make on my journey with Christ. For our journey together is a continuous one and it does not end here, for we are moving forward together in love in our journeys with Christ our King, moving into a time of waiting, into a time of Advent. Amen

Prayer: Day by day dear Lord, of you 3 things we pray: to see you more clearly to love you more dearly and to follow you more nearly, day by day.