Preacher: The Reign of Christ is not limited to one day; it has not true beginning and no end. But in the church year one day is set aside to focus on it. The RCL cites several scripture passages and invites the reader to consider the day through this lens of scripture. But by its very definition, holy scripture reflects the Reign of Christ throughout time. In many of the praise passages the psalmist declares this truth and invites all to praise the Lord and celebrate the might and power of the Divine.
Seeker: “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.”
Preacher: We are coming close the to coming, the Advent, of the celebration of Christ’s birth. The world at that time did not know the form of the Messiah. Indeed, the world at that time was not expecting the Messiah. Or at least not in the form that the Messiah came in. Long was He hoped for, and prayed for. Prophecy told what the Messiah would do, and the hearers of the prophecy assumed what form the Messiah would come in. Their hopes was that their oppression and persecution would be ended. The concept of the Reign of Christ informed the imagination, and created the image of Messiah whose reign would supplant all other things and ways.
Seeker: “Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing.”
Preacher: But, when the Messiah came – few were aware of his coming.
Seeker: “Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
Preacher: The people of Jesus’ time were not prepared for the Messiah who came. Just as the Israelites desired a king who would be like the kings of other nations, the Jews desired a Messiah who would be their champion. Their hearts and spirits were not prepared. And those who saw and understood, were not believed by the masses. Indeed, those who did believe were persecuted and oppressed for their beliefs.
Seeker: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.”
Preacher: We know now the form, purpose, and intent of the Messiah. We know now what the Reign of Christ means. That it goes from everlasting to everlasting. We know now that the Messiah reigns in the hearts of humanity. And that in the fullness of time, the Divine will reign as was hoped from by the ancient called and chosen people. But the time is not yet full, and we do not know when that fullness will be completed. We only know that we must continue to cling to hope, and that we are not alone.
Seeker: “For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” (Psalm 100)
Preacher: We must prepare. We know now the Messiah we must prepare for. And that preparation must be renewed, not just every year but every day. We set aside time to focus on our preparation, according to the church year, the calendar, and the cycle & series of scripture passages. Each day though must have its time of meditation and preparation. Confession, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, adoration, and praise. Look to the resources that are available to you. Gather with the faith circles that you are part of. Follow the traditions that make up your Christian journey. Find direction and guidance under the Auspice of the Holy Presence. And may the Divine bless the path you travel. Shalom & Selah!