Doers of the Word
Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
In 1925 Pope Pius XI was worried. Mussolini is parading around Italy with arrogance. A man named Hitler in Germany has just been released from jail and his Nazi party is gaining strength. People everywhere seem to be losing faith. The pope feels he must come up with some sign, some symbol, to remind people what life is about and to whom they truly belong.
He finally hits on a popular term: King. So, he institutes the feast of Christ the King. But a king of our hearts, our souls, our lives. Not a monarchical king! It was meant to remind us of the ultimate object of our allegiance.
This is the feast we are celebrating today. It has nothing to do with crowns, palaces, or robes, concepts foreign to us Americans. It deals with how we, on the everyday level, act or should act. It deals with the daily decision we make when we leave church, decision that reveal the allegiance we have.
In her book, Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen tells the story of a young man from the Kikuyu tribe who worked for her on her farm for three months. Suddenly he announced that he was leaving her to go to work for a Muslim man nearby. Surprised, Dinesen asked him if he was unhappy working for her. He told her that all was well, but that he had decided to work for a Christian for three months to study the ways of Christians and then work for a Muslim for three months to study the ways of a Muslim. After experiencing both, he was going to decide whether to be a Christian or a Muslim.
What about that? What would he choose if he lived among us at OLM and saw what we did and how we acted and how we treated others at home, at school, the neighborhood and the workplace?
So, as always, the gospel comes back to haunt us, doesn’t it? Light and darkness, right and wrong, principle or compromise, Pilate or Jesus. It was all there, then. It’s all here, now. Every day. The Apostles Creed of believing and the Gospel Creed of doing (Luke 6:27-38).