We are fast approaching the end of the Church’s year, and the season of Advent and Christmas, and today we conclude the Church’s liturgical year on the Feast Day of Christ the King. According to the Book of Common Prayer this day is known as ‘Stir up Sunday’.
Stir up we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of thy good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Hopefully today’s celebration of Christ the King will not in any way be connected to debates about republics or a constitutional monarchy. It has nothing to do with constitutional issues or any earthly idea about monarchy or kingship. As we gather today as a parish community we are reminded of the past, conscious of the present challenges and concerned about the future as we gather next week for our annual parish meeting. Thank you to everyone who has nominated for membership of the parish council, the incumbency committee and offered to continue their various ministries to build our life together. Without doubt the year has been difficult and challenging for us all and especially as we seek to work to build the kingdom of God.
In today’s Gospel Pilate questions Jesus. In response Jesus distinguishes himself from the political powers of the day and of this world. Jesus instead speaks about a different kind of kingdom or community or reign of God, as I prefer to say. As modern disciples, kingship and truth are often hard to discern.
As I grow older, I find I have more questions than answers to the presenting issues for today in both the church and broader community. In fact, I do not think there are any easy answers or quick-fix solutions. Faithful to the Gospel, not success in worldly terms is to be the mantra to adopt. Our mission is to be faithful to building a kingdom resplendent in compassion, service to others, mercy, and forgiveness. To create God’s heaven here on earth now. In today’s Gospel we are invited to see in Jesus the embodiment of truth.