Reigning from the cross

20 November 2016
The Last Sunday after Pentecost
The Reign of Christ
Proper 26C (RCL)
Jeremiah 23:1-6
Psalm 146
Colossians 1:11-20
Luke 23:33-43

The feast of Christ the King was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI, as a response to the rise of secular regimes in Europe. Many of those regime were trending toward fascism. In the encyclical Quas primas, Pius stated that “Christ has dominion over all creatures, a dominion not seized by violence or usurped but by his essence and by nature.” Pope Benedict XVI, in a sermon on Christ the King said that Christ’s kingship was based not on human power, but on loving and serving others. Continue reading “Reigning from the cross”

Can I get a witness?

6 November 2016
All Saints’ Day (observed)
All Saint’s Day C (RCL)
Daniel 7:1-3, 15-18
Psalm 149
Ephesians 1:11-23
Luke 6:20-31

Psalm 149 used to come up for All Saints’ Day in each year. The Revised Common Lectionary has given us a broader set of readings. Psalm 149 starts out well, but ends up with the idea of the holy people of God wreaking vengeance on the nations, with a two edged sword in their hands. Not my favorite image. I suppose it would be a welcome vision for an oppressed people, to think that they would get their turn rendering justice to their oppressors. Daniel has a similar vision. The four beasts are the Babylonian, the Medean, the Persian and the Alexandrian Empires. The last of these was the worst, and Daniel holds out the hope that the holy ones of God will receive the kingdom. The apocalyptic imagination is always a way of critiquing the current state of affairs. Continue reading “Can I get a witness?”