A special thank you this week to our friends from First Saturday Devotees in the congregation.
A little country boy named Joey pushed the family outhouse over an embankment into the river. Later that day, the father found him and asked, “Who pushed the outhouse into the river?” “Daddy, I cannot tell a lie,” said the little Joey. “I did it.” The boy’s dad started spanking him. “But, Daddy,” the little boy cried, “George Washington told the truth when his daddy asked him who chopped down the cherry tree and his daddy did not spank him.” The father answered, “You’re absolutely right, but George Washington’s daddy was not in the cherry tree at the time.”
You know, life is filled with many surprises, and sometimes things in life don’t always turn out the way we had expected or had hoped or planned. This feast we celebrate today, the Feast of Christ the King, is also filled with the unexpected and with many, many surprises. In some ways, the celebration and title are very misleading.
We tend to think of the word “king” and connect it with power, control and position, but Jesus is not a kingship of power, but rather a kingship of love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness. We are then challenged to a life of service and love in the name of the Lord Jesus. We are challenged to forgive others and oneself. Jesus projected himself as a messiah, but he came as a serving king, not a ruling king. The way of Jesus tells us that we know who God is by looking at the life of Jesus. Christ enlarges the boundaries. God is ultimate compassion and forgiveness.
You know, what a funny king. The people he invites are outcasts and sinners. He invites all of us around the table of the Lord. This last Sunday of the liturgical year is about legacies. What do we want our legacies to be? What do we want our lives to mean? Our answer begins with embracing, in our own lives, the reign of God, a kingdom not of power, but rather a reign of human hearts dedicated to justice, peace, reconciliation, joy, as we end our year of mercy.
You know, in life, Jesus promises us two things: our life has meaning and we’re going to live forever. If you get a better offer, take it.