Saturday, November 23, 2013

Solemnity of Christ the King , tomorrow 24 November 2013

The Gospel : Saint Luke 23:35-43
Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
+In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.Amen
Tomorrow I observe the feast of Christ the King. It is also the last Sunday in the Liturgical year.I know that the Roman Catholic Church observed this feast late October , but we do this tomorrow, Sunday.
So we celebrate the feast of Christ the King , the King of the Universe. I recall many celebrations of this feast when I was a member of the servers team at Christ Church Anglican
Church Brunswick Melbourne and I had the privilege to be either thurifer or Subdeacon on this glorious feast.The photo on the blog is from Christ the King , November 2001. On the left Father Philip as Deacon, Father David in the middle as the Celebrant , myself as Subdeacon on the right. Lionel behind me carrying the processional cross and on my right John as the Thurifer. As I said glorious days and full of solemnity, because we were celebrating Christ the King.
To be quite honest , then I never asked the question to when the Kingdom of God would come, the thought how that Kingdom would look like would not be considered at all. I dont think that there has ever been anyone, who has written an urgent prayer, in which one says:" O God,this Kingdom of Yours, when is this going to happen?"To be quite honest , we should turn this sentence around, and get God to ask: "Dear People in Bendigo , Victoria, Australia, this Kingdom of Mine, what is happening ?"It is only then that we touch on the inner source of the Gospel of Sunday. Jesus said to Pontius
Pilate:" My Kingdom is very much different then you imagine. My Kingdom is not of this world,my Kingdom relates to the Truth, because I have come to be a witness of the Truth.  Jesus
did not come to become a King in the way we recognize Kings, someone powerful residing in a large palace. Nothing like that at all. He is a person, Whom we get to know slowly but surely, in a process,which can take a whole lifetime.
And lo , there , hanging on the Cross, helpless and lost, it becomes much clearer that Jesus is more related to the poor and the losers instead  of with the most important persons present on feasts of the King. When we look at the kingship of Christ, we dont look at the glamour and glittter of our society, but to matters, which dont look so good at all around us and offcourse in us. The Kingdom of God is a Kingdom of people, a community of people in the way God has meant it to be. Also in this city of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia: people with different ideas, with shortcomings, in other words people with good qualities of life and lesser qualities of life. And that is why God could ask you and I :" Dear people, this Kingdom about which I did talk, this Kingdom of Mine amongst you all, what is the status ?"So this is a question, which we should not ask God. No it is a question God asks from us. What about this Kingdom, what is it going to look like ?Jesus said to Pilate:" It is not of this world. It is not how your kingdom looks like. Where power is being displayed and where people are being suppressed.If that was the case, then soldiers would be ready now to defend me.

No in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ there is no compulsery military service, there is only the service rendered to one another.There one does not have exercises for the battle , but one teaches oneself to love. That is a very much different Kingdom. Violence is not being followed up by violence , there no agression,
 a world where we are not trying to catch each other out by critizising their speech.

No, there in that Kingdom of Christ , the wolf and the lamb graze together , just the way the Bible tells us this so beautifully. There a child is playing with the snake and people accept each other the way they are. Those are visions and words that we cannot quite understand. Yet it is all going to be possible, because in that kingdom of Jesus Christ, everyone carries the name of God. Nobody is being shut out .And that name is : I am here for you, totally: and you are here for me, totally.

Jesus told us that God cares about His people, that He is there for us , a comforter , and a liberator. But we know that He does expect from us that we look after each other. If that is the case, then only then we can answer God's question truthfully,if He asks us:" This Kingdom with you, the way I meant it, what is the status?

Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne