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Christ is King

Christ the King of Creation

I have always had some trouble with the metaphor of the Kingship of God, because all the kings I have ever heard of were flawed. We, as a nation, started off by getting rid of the domination of the king. Other places dealt with the monarchial problem by empowering parliaments to protect the people from the tyranny of the king. And then there is the problem that royalty go and do scandalous and embarrassing things. So, what can we mean when we say Christ is King?

Well, it is in our human nature that even when absolutely every known real example of a group is flawed we can still embrace an ideal representation of the group. So we can imagine an ideal spouse, an ideal teacher, an ideal family, an ideal Christmas, an ideal boss. And so we can have an idea of an ideal King.

So what is the nature of that Kingship?

There is a theme in the Arthurian legends that the king and the people and the land are one. So when Arthur falls into despair due to his problems the whole land enters a time of despair. The movie Excalibur does a great presentation of this.

This same belief exists in Judaism. The Hebrew people understood that if they were in right relationship with the land, which meant obeying the law and caring for the people resident and foreigner, then and only then could they be in right relationship with God, the true Lord or King of the land. And if the relationship with the land was broken, then the relationship with God was also broken.

As they grew in their understanding of God, they enlarged their understanding of the land to be all of creation.

We are entering a time when our relationship with creation is destabilizing and moving very quickly toward broken. Plants and animals are moving into new regions. Soon you will be able to take summer cruises to the North Pole. There was almost no sea ice in the Arctic Ocean this past summer. Natural disasters worldwide in 2011 did $280 billion in damage. Hurricane Sandy did over $60 billion in NJ and NY alone.

Believe me, my issue is not about what has caused this. My issue is that it is happening and it will have a profound effect on humanity.  This is a spiritual crisis. Breaking relationship with the land is a spiritual crisis. Think about the images of families fleeing the famine of the American Dust Bowl. Think of the Depression era pictures of men in bread lines.  I visited Ireland about ten or so years ago. It seemed to me the nation still felt the scars of the potato famine of the 1800’s. Look at the pictures of any refugee camp whether caused by people fleeing war in the land or fleeing natural disaster. In the faces of these people you see despair and hopelessness. You see the faces of people who have lost faith.

I am not here to preach a solution. I am here to say that the way to a solution is to search for an ideal of the relationship between humanity and creation.

It will be an ideal that not only preserves creation but also stops destroying creation in the name of hope. It will be an ideal that conserves finite resources and uses renewable resources.  It will not be based on overcoming the natural forces of rising oceans and a warming climate but on living into and with those realities.

Christ is our ideal King. In his name our hope is for an ideal relationship with his creation. Amen.