Christ the King
Luke 23:33- 43 and Jeremiah 23:1-6
As some of you know I have been cooking carrot cake. The problem is that
for the first time ever this year I watched a whole series of the Great
British Bake Off. I am of course too late in discovering its charms just
as it is all about to change but nonetheless inspired I set off with
flour, butter, sugar and a carrot or two persuaded that if Candice of
Barton could do it then Steve of Streatley might be le to bake a cake!
Well people were kind about the first effort, taste, texture, lightness
flavour, were all OK (no soggy bottoms) and to be fair it was eaten in
two days. But I was dissatisfied with the rise – on holiday I had
watched other boys and girls eating carrot cake like this; but mine was
I felt rather skinny and so to try and improve I have been cooking
carrot cakes. I have also been asking your advice, which has been
plentiful, beat the flour less, beat the butter and sugar more, grind
the carrots to a powder – yet so far for all my efforts I feel that at
the moment of judgement KING Paul will kick me out of the tent.
Christ the KING takes a different view. The tent of heaven remains open
to those who believe and as we hear in today’s Gospel to those who
recognise and repent even though they may seem to us and to themselves
to have failed.
“Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom,” says the condemned
criminal and Jesus replies “truly, I tell you, today you will be with me
The kingdom of God is like no other, it is not bounded by walls,
fortresses or tent flaps and guy ropes but is open; there are paths to
follow, shepherds to guide us, good shepherds who will give us good
advice and counsels, who will tend us and lead us. Christ the king
recognises those who are seeking the way, working in our lives to teach
and encourage us placing people around us in whom we can see goodness.
We all look at our lives and find ourselves unworthy knowing that we
fall short but as we reach this Sunday, the end of the church’s year
when our cycle of readings closes it is appropriate to remember the
sweep of the story, the great truth of the Gospel.
“When they came to the place called ‘The Skull’ they crucified him
there.” Christ died on the cross to save us – He died for you and me.
Metropolitan Andrew Bloom, who has written books about spiritual
endeavour, meditation and enrichment speaks of the value of these
practices, of trying to perfect the inner self, in his description he
reminds me of learning to play a musical instrument – there is hard work
perhaps some struggle but there is joy in the learning and approaching
some competence. The kingdom of God is something to be sought with joy.
In the season of Advent, traditionally one of penitence and reflection
as we look forward to the celebration of Jesus’ birth, Paolo will lead a
series of four reflections in the Parish Centre at 8.00 on the Thursdays
of Advent beginning with Thursday the 1st December.
So please join us for these so that we can explore, discuss and practice
our faith – it may be if I practice hard and heed all the advice I have
been given that by the last reflection on the 22nd December there may be
a carrot cake which is closer to keeping me in the tent.
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