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Church Service 20th November

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Collect and Readings for Christ the King Sunday, Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, Psalm 93, Revelation 1:4b-8, John 18:33-37The Prayer for today Eternal Father, whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven that he might rule over all things as Lord and King: keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of peace, and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

It's always difficult to describe heavenly things in terms of our human experience, but Daniel tries to give a faithful account of his vision of the one he calls the Ancient of Days, sensing the everness of his wisdom and power, his piercing integrity and all-knowing perception. Images of rivers of fire, throne and vast crowds worshipping help to give us some idea of God's glory as the source and sustainer of all. Daniel witnesses the moment of one like a son of man entering heaven and receiving the authority and dominion which are his for ever.

We who have met Jesus in the Gospels and heard him refer often to himself as 'Son of Man'. Recognise the one who enters heaven as the Lord and Saviour who loved us enough to die for us. The Gospel for today refers to Jesus' conversation with Pilate, just before his crucifixion. Jesus tells the Roman governor, who represents the worldly power and authority of the whole Roman Empire, that his kingdom is not of this world. He is not therefore a threat to the authorities in terms of violent uprising and revolt. The kingdom of God is a lot more powerful, far-reaching and long-lasting than any empire!

In the reading from Revelation we are back in thee world of visions and prophecy, written for those who had witnessed the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, the outpouring of God's Spirit in tongues of flame, and the business of living as followers of Christ in an often hostile world. There will come a time when Christ the everlasting King will appear in all his glory, and every eye shall see him.

The Church's year has come full circle. We began last Advent by preparing ourselves for the coming of Jesus, both at his birth into our world and at the second coming. We have walked with Jesus through his life and ministry, led mainly this year by Mark's dynamic Gospel account. We have watched Jesus and listened to him, sorrowed and rejoiced with him. We have seen the gradual understanding of the disciples and their transformation through the gift of the Holy Spirit. And now, as we celebrate Jesus, King of all ages and nations, born for this, living and dying and rising for this, we proclaim the basic Christian belief which will enable us to press forward into our Advent preparations: Jesus Christ is Lord!

Some things to reflect on:

  • What is your vision of heaven?
  • How does this faith we celebrate today transform our outlook and enable us to face suffering?
  • How will you plan to spend the fasting period of Advent preparing yourself to meet Christ once again at Christmas?

God bless and stay safe and well.
Rev'd Fiona Robinson

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