Today is one of those special days in the Christian calendar, since it is Christ the King, or the Reign of Christ Sunday. As such, it marks the end of one liturgical year, and paves the way for Advent and a new year starting next Sunday. When we begin to think about what that could mean for us, we might discover that it offers some helpful insights in terms of the Advent Conspiracy theme.
One of the set readings for today is in Colossians chapter 1, and that includes what is believed to be a segment from an early hymn in verses 15-20. It speaks of Christ, of course, but there is one verse in particular, verse 17, that I find quite thought provoking:
He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
In an age in which we fear that everything is starting to spin wildly out of control, here is an alternate paradigm. When Christ is the centre and focus of our life, of our actions, thoughts and priorities, then meaning and order begin to emerge from the chaos. And that isn’t just a personal or individual matter; it extends out to include the whole of life. In Christ all things hold together. In him all things cohere. If I may coin a phrase, this is the Christian “coherency”!
Of course, if the affirmation of the Kingship of Christ is more than just a grand-sounding phrase, but really means something in our everyday lives, we will immediately see the link with the Advent Conspiracy themes. When Christ is really King in our lives, it must lead to a different set of values, to real integrity in the choices we make.
One gift we all have, while ever life lasts, is the gift of time. How often have we heard, or even said, “I don’t have time!” The truth is, of course, that we do have time; the only question is how we choose to use it. It is so easy simply to drift along, doing what we have always done, without pausing to ask, as in the presence of God, how we are using our time. Then there is that other line, sometimes deeply felt, that we have no particular talents. God has given each of us the gift of time, and a range of other gifts to be used in the service of Christ and the Kingdom of God. It is paradoxical, but I believe true, that the more we give, the more we receive.
It all comes back to that thought so wonderfully expressed in Colossians, that when Christ is the living centre of our lives, and we are part of a “Christian coherency”, then nothing stays the same. With joy, we can share ourselves, our time and talents, to the glory of God.
Clive W Ayre