The church year comes to a close, and none to soon. I have been waiting for this Sunday for some time now. As refugees continue to flee across several continents, as the innocent continue to suffer in many nations at the hands of the violent, I have been waiting to be reminded that … Jesus is Lord.
This Sunday has often been know as Christ the King Sunday. But ‘king’ is not a major emphasis of the New Testament in reference to Jesus. But I have read that Jesus is referred to 618 times as ‘Lord’. The witness of the first Christians was the simple confession, declared often and at great cost but in great joy, ‘Jesus is Lord’.
I need this Sunday to be filled anew with that joy. The joy of celebrating that Jesus is Lord over death, that he was raised from the dead as the first of many, that darkness and evil and even death have been ultimately emptied of power. The joy of celebrating that Jesus is Lord of life, that he has laid down a way of life in this life that can grow us in our humanity and to the glory of God. The joy that renews the spirit to meet the challenges of these days with assurance and strength to persevere in ways good, true and beautiful. In this morning’s Globe and Mail, Sean Michael highlights in his playlist of the week, music from the 1970’s by the Algerian Boutaiba S’ghir who, in a in time of injustice and violence, continues to sing, ‘Malgré Tout’ (Despite Everything). As Christians, is this not our joy and calling, to remember that Jesus is Lord … and sing and live that faith, ‘malgré tout’?
Turning from music to art, I love this detail from a nineteenth century stained glass window in our St. Andrew’s sanctuary. The lordship of Jesus is central in the image of the crown, but it glows golden warm, is set in the context of the humility of the cross, and is surrounded by … pomegranates! They are not exactly native to this corner of God’s creation, but what a wonderful way to ‘image’ the Christian life than by a growing vine of exotic, tasty, mysterious fruit!
This morning we will welcome the Rev. Elaine Wilson to St. Andrew’s Kingston. Elaine is currently co-pastoring in her first charge with her husband, Curtis, at Strathcona Park Presbyterian Church. Being a native Vancouverite, she is ‘looking forward’ to winter in Kingston! She has studied Microbiology and German at the University of British Columbia and did her pastoral training at Regent College and Vancouver School of Theology.
From Living Faith, a contemporary statement of Christian faith by the Presbyterian Church in Canada
3.5 Jesus is Lord
3.5.1 Jesus suffered, died, and was buried,
but God raised him from the dead.
Risen and ascended,
he is alive now, the living Lord.
3.5.2 His resurrection means that our faith is not empty,
that final victory is assured over all evil powers
which destroy and deform life,
and that death, the last enemy, is conquered.
3.5.3 The forces of the evil one still wage war against us.
The destructive powers are still present.
But their end is not in doubt.
We await the full revelation of our Lord’s triumph.
3.5.4 We worship our ascended Lord.
Reigning in glory and power
he is our High Priest and Advocate
interceding before the Father on our behalf.
Through him we offer our sacrifice of praise,
with prayer for all to the Father.
3.5.5 Thanks be to God who gives us the victory
through Jesus Christ our Lord!