Bishop Ward reflects on the meaning of Christ the King Sunday as we approach the end of the liturgical year.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ who reigns over all things.
On this last Sunday of the Christian year, this Sunday coming, we celebrate Christ’s reign over all. The appointed text is Matthew 25 and we have an image of the way Christ reigns and rules. Jesus says, to all the people gathered, “‘Come, you who are righteous. When I was hungry you fed me, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, when I was sick and in prison you visited me. They will say to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you in these circumstances? Hungry, thirsty, sick, in prison,’ and Jesus will say ‘whenever you did this to the least of these my sisters and brothers, you have done it to me.’”
In this passage, we have a beautiful image of the victorious Christian life. We see Jesus as we engage in the world. Jesus comes to us in the person who is in need. We, as Wesleyans, believe that engagement with the poor, with those who are sick, with those who suffer, with those who are in prison, is engagement in Jesus Christ’s life. Grace flows to us as we engage. The one who offers help and the one who receives help are intertwined in a beautiful way through the Holy Spirit, because all of us, in our lives, have times when we need help and all of us have times in our lives when we are able to offer help to others.
John Wesley, in a wonderful sermon, taught there is one great reason God has intermingled you with others – that the grace of God to you might be the grace of God through you to them; that every word, work and affect of yours might have good and Godly influence out into the world. We give thanks that God abides in human hearts, that Jesus Christ comes to us as we engage in mission in the world and as we approach the end of this Christian year and the beginning of Advent, we give thanks for all the ways that our life in Christ is enriched, as we engage face to face, hand to hand, with all God’s children, wherever they are in the world.
May Christ be with you. May Christ meet you. May you see Christ as you engage in mission, today and every day.