This Sunday is Christ the King, one of my favorite Sundays of the church year. It's an Incarnation tradition for the kids to help lead us in worship on this Sunday, pointing us toward our King who came not in robes of splendor, but in swaddling cloths.
I absolutely love this poem for Christ the King Sunday by Anglican poet-priest Malcolm Guite:
Christ The King
Our King is calling from the hungry furrows
Whilst we are cruising through the aisles of plenty,
Our hoardings screen us from the man of sorrows,
Our soundtracks drown his murmur: ‘I am thirsty’.
He stands in line to sign in as a stranger
And seek a welcome from the world he made,
We see him only as a threat, a danger,
He asks for clothes, we strip-search him instead.
And if he should fall sick then we take care
That he does not infect our private health,
We lock him in the prisons of our fear
Lest he unlock the prison of our wealth.
But still on Sunday we shall stand and sing
The praises of our hidden Lord and King.
I love the way Guite's poem uses the humble kingship of Jesus to interrogate our wealth and security. His poem invites us to ask ourselves: in whose kingdom, in whose economy, are we participating?
These are the same kinds of questions Paul is asking at the end of 1 Timothy. Last week, in his excellent sermon on slavery, David reminded us that in the kingdom of God, the poor and marginalized will judge the rich and powerful. And in this week's passage, Paul will make the case that worshiping "Jesus Christ, God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords" simply must mean that we no longer put our hope in riches (1 Tim 6:15-17).
I'm looking forward to finishing 1 Timothy this Sunday as we celebrate the upside-down reign of King Jesus. (Also — whew! 1 Timothy has been quite a ride! So many challenging passages, and we haven't skipped a single verse. You can hear the whole series here.)
This is also the final Sunday of the church year. We'll begin telling the story all over again when Advent begins the following Sunday. I'll write more about Advent next week, but in the meantime, a few odds and ends:
We recently moved offices out of our old space at Arlington United Methodist (the building was sold) to a new space at Greenbrier Baptist. Until now, the "office" has only served as a rather dingy basement storage room. But now we're trying to turn it into a beautiful, fully functional space for working, meeting, and gathering (it's being painted as I type this!), and we'd love your help! Check out this spreadsheet with a list of items needed — perhaps you have something around the house you're ready to give away?
We'll be partnering with Randolph Elementary again to collect winter coats for needy students and their families. Last year you gave SO generously and cheerfully, and we're excited to do this again. We're pulling together a few details from the school social worker, so stay tuned!
How are you doing? Please always feel free to reach out. I love catching up over coffee and walks, hearing the things you're going through, and praying and listening together for God's work in our lives.