This upcoming Sunday is Christ the King. It is the newest Christian holiday in our calendar, established by the Pope in 1925, to combat, some think, the celebrations of the Reformation by Protestants. Others think, though, the Pope looked out at the rising tide of fascism and said, “We need to remember who our Lord really is.”
Christ the King is more than just a celebration of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It is a celebration of the victory of Christ over all the forces of evil and his coming again to put all things at his feet. We call our study of this eschatology, the study of the last things, and it is precisely those last things that give us hope. In a way, the Christian point of view is always backwards looking: looking backwards from the end, when Christ rules all in all.
This rule, this victory, this Lordship, gives us freedom. Because Christ lives and reigns, and because we are citizens first of his kingdom, we are free now to act in his name for that kingdom, the kingdom ruled by mercy, grace, kindness, compassion, justice, righteousness, love. All the forces of this world cannot win against Christ, because they are the forces of death, and Christ has already defeated death. We are free. We are free.
So, now, I urge all of you: act like you are free. Act like your ruler is Christ Jesus. Band with those who also believe this, and work for the things we promise in our baptismal liturgy: to work for peace and justice in all the earth.
Jesus is coming. Let’s get busy.