Ezekiel 34:11-16

Matthew 25:31-46

“Is Christ Our King?”

Christ The King          November 26 2017

            Is Christ Our King?

            Today is Christ the King Sunday — the last Sunday in the liturgical year. A new liturgical year starts next Sunday as we begin the season of Advent. Today is the day we celebrate the Kingship — the Lordship — of Christ. But as we celebrate Christ’s Kingship  what are we really doing? Are we affirming a truth we really believe or are we just “whistling in the dark” — trying to give ourselves some sense of hope in the midst of what seems to be an increasingly hopeless world? 

            It may seem strange to say: Christ is king! We certainly see little evidence of it as we look at the world around us.  We may even feel there is little evidence of it as we look at our own lives.   Why do we choose to believe that Christ is King? Maybe we choose to believe that Christ is King because we know the only source of hope for us, and for the world, is Christ. Maybe we want to affirm that even though situations in the world around us and even in our own lives may look hopeless at times, that the world and our lives are not lost in hopelessness and t is not just “whistling in the dark” trying to bolster false courage — that despite the way things may appear – Christ is king!

            Maybe we want to affirm that Christ is King — not the violent — drug infested — poverty riddled world we see around us — not the seemingly hopeless lives we may feel we lead — not even the illnesses that haunt us — not even death.  Maybe it’s that we want to affirm that these things are not King – but Christ is king! 

Do you believe that?

            I’m sure that within each of us there is a voice that says: “Yes! That’s the answer! Depite all else Christ is king! There is a part within each of us that knows that Christ is King — and wants desperately to affirm that.  There’s a part within each of us that wants to shout at all we see around us: “You are not in charge! Christ is king!”

            So – is Christ our king? If Christ is our King — then it is up to us to show our King — and our King’s will to the world.  If we are going to have Christ as our King — there are some things we must do.

            What things? The things of Christ. The things of God.

            What are these things?

            Ezekiel understood what the things of God were and he understood that the things of God had to be shown in the midst of things that were definitely not of God.  In the year 587BC the Babylonians defeated the kingdom of Judah and destroyed Jerusalem.  Many of the Hebrews — including Ezekiel — were carried off into captivity in Babylon.  The situation for the Hebrews, God’s chosen people, seemed hopeless.  It seemed they were never going to be able to return to the promised land and even if they could there was nothing there for them to return to. Their homeland had been destroyed. A feeling of hopelessness prevailed. There was hardly any talk of God restoring the people.  There was not much hope that God could change the situation the people found themselves in. Talking about God seemed silly in the midst of such utter hopelessness. 

            But in the midst of hopelessness Ezekiel dared to recognize the things of God and the complete sovereignty of God over all else.  Ezekiel dared to recognize the things of

 

God and he dared to to proclaim them. 

“I will seek the lost and I will bring back the strayed and I will bind up the injured and I will strengthen the weak”

.           What’s that? The people must have thought: God is going to seek the lost? God is going to bring back the strayed? God is going to bind up the injured? God is going to strengthen the weak? How silly can you get! Why talk of God when things seemed so hopeless? It’s nonsense.

            But — that is what Ezekial did — and you know what — he was right. God strengthened the weak. God brought back the strayed. God bound up the injured. God strengthened the weak. The Hebrews returned to their land — and rebuilt it.  The things of God were shown in the midst of hopelessness.

            So – again – Is Christ our king?

            If so we have things to do.  In the midst of all the hopelessness we see all around us,  we need to show the things of God — the things of Christ. God — who seeks the lost. God — who brings back the strayed. God — who binds up the injured. God — who strengthens the weak.

            Christ — who judges us in terms of how well we show God’s will to others — who judges us in terms of how well we show the world that hunger — lostness — nakedness — sickness — imprisonment — and even violence — drugs — poverty — a sense of hopelessness — are not the final answer — but Christ is king! Christ is the final answer!

            Is Christ our king? Then we have to show Christ to the world. We have to overcome feelings that there is little we can do — and do what Christ inspires and strengthens us to do.  There is something within each of us that wants to grasp onto the hope that Christ is King — and that because Christ is King — our lives — our families — our communities — our church — the world — can be different.  Let Christ strengthen that conviction — that hope.  Then — set out to show the world — the world so immersed in hopelessness — that Christ is King. 

            It was about 20 years ago that a 10 year old boy named Trevor was watching television with his parents when he saw a report on homeless people.  His heart went out to the homeless.  He asked his father to help him find them.  Trevor began to look for homeless people whenever he and his parents went about their city.  There they were — sleeping in the sheltered doorways — sleeping on the heat grates of sidewalks.  The more he looked —  the more he saw — and the more he wondered if there was something he could do to help these people.  He nagged his parents into letting him make sandwiches — and driving him into those parts of town where the homeless were huddled against the cold.  This simple act turned into hundreds of vans driving through the streets of cities around the country.  They have one agenda — to tell the homeless that someone cares. 

            Is Christ our king?  Then let Christ give us a vision for specific ways we can respond to the seemingly hopelessness in the world with the hope of Christ.

            Volunteering or donating to CUOC is one way Edgewood reaches out to those in need.  The Salvation Army Christmas Angels is another way.  The Thank Offering we will collect in a few moments is another excellent way as are the other special offerings we collect. Getting involved is the work and ministry of the Church is a vital way of heling our ministry and mission in the world. There are other ways we cn share God’s hope with the world.  Pray for and look for ways we can show God’s hope in a world that sometimes seems hopeless. 

            God said through Ezekiel:               

             “I will seek the lost and I will bring back the strayed and I will bind up the injured and I will strengthen the weak”

            Jesus said:

            “Just as much as you did it to the least of these, you did it to me.”

            “Just as much as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.”

Is Christ our king?  Let us do His will evey day – in eery way we can. Amen.