"Love! Do you know the meaning of the word?" 'How should I not?' said the Lady, 'I am in love...in Love Himself.'
~C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Solemnity of Christ the King

Tomorrow marks the Sunday next before Advent, which we know as the solemnity afore mentioned. The Holy day was pronounced by Pope Pius XI in 1925. It is a wonderful feast intended to counter the secularization of the world and the rise of powerful national leaders. There is but one King-and he is all-powerful and reigns over this world and the world to come. (Though his rule over this one has yet to be consumated-hence the placement of this feast just prior to period where we look and prepare for our Lord's second coming when every knee will bow to him.)

While this Solemnity is relatively new to the Church's calendar, it should be pointed out that the last Sunday before Advent has always been dedicated to celebrating the Kingship of Christ. In the Anglican Church, the lectionary points us to a strange place for the Epistle lesson. The appointing of this reading makes it evident that role of Christ as King of the Cosmos it to be at the center of the liturgy on this Sunday. From Jeremiah 23 we read these words:
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth...and this is his Name whereby he shall be called "The LORD our Righteousness."

This has been the reading appointed for hundreds if not thousands of years for tomorrow. It is one of the precious few times that the Epistle is taken from something other than the Apostolic letters. A point is being made here. Thus, while the feast of Christ the King is new, the Church has dedicated tomorrow for a long while to remembering that the individualism we so often celebrate as the greatest good is actually an inversion of the reality that there is a Mighty Ruler who exists outside of us and this earth. His name is Jesus.

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