2Samuel 5: 1-3; Colossians 1: 12-20; Luke 23: 35-43
The Christ that Paul portrays to us today in the Letter to the Colossians is much different than what we are used to in hearing about the Christ, much larger than life an encompassing everything imaginable and beyond…image of the invisible God, firstborn of all creation, all things created in him in heaven and earth, the visible and invisible, all things created through and for him, He is before all things. Yet, when we think of this Feast of Christ the King, it paints a much more realistic picture of what it is all about, thinking of the inception of this Feast back in 1925 when a struggle was ensuing by outside powers that were assuming a power greater than the Church. The Church, aware of the struggle, instituted the feast as a reminder of the higher power that works in and through all things, this Cosmic Christ that draws all things to Himself.
It remains an ongoing struggle for all of us. We often look outside ourselves for acceptance, power, approval, and answers, while Paul reminds us that it’s is something that in drawn from within. Throughout history, we have looked for answers through leaders, as people Israel did, as the people in Jesus’ time did; they looked for someone that would herald in a new beginning. They looked for someone that would free them from oppression, a military leader that would take down the oppressors of the people and ring in an era of peace and tranquility. As much as they experienced it at times, it was often rooted in fear of the leaders and kings, rather than a freedom from within. We can see it in our own response to leaders today. We want answers. We want results. We have high expectations and yet, are often left feeling let down, untrusting of the powers that be, leading us on this continuous journey outward looking for it all, rather than seeking the larger than life within ourselves, our true authority and power that can never be touched by the outside world…our human dignity.
Jesus, obviously, exemplifies that, but even in his time and in the gospel we hear today, the people are often left confused and bewildered by what’s going on. “If you truly are the King of the Jews then save yourself?”, is heard from the soldiers and the criminal hanging next to Jesus. Yet, that’s the misconception that we tell ourselves, that somehow I have the power to save myself, to get myself down from the cross I bear in life. Jesus, and even the openness of the second criminal, shows that there’s another way. Ask anyone that has struggled with addictions; it’s impossible to save yourself and they know it. It can only be by the grace of God that salvation comes upon us. The reality of this Feast, though, and as Paul tells us, God can use everything to point us in that direction. God has unlimited resources at His disposal to move us from death to life; and that power lies within us. It isn’t me, but Christ within me that leads us to salvation. This is the significance of this feast from the moment of its conception. Christ, King of the Universe, who was and is and is to come, the visible and invisible. This is our true King and no earthly power can take that from us. The challenge for us remains…can we not only accept that truth about ourselves and finally allow it to be found within us, but allow it also to become the source of all life for the world, the Cosmic Christ working in and through me, to bring salvation to all.