Readings for Week 34 in Year 1
Monday: Daniel 1. 1-20; Psalm 24. 1-6; Luke 21. 1-4
Tuesday: Daniel 2. 31-45; Psalm 96; Luke 21. 5-9
Wednesday: Daniel 5. 1-6, 13-28; Psalm 98; Luke 21. 10-19
Thursday: Daniel 6. 6-27; Psalm 99; Luke 21. 20-28
Friday: Daniel 7. 1-14; Psalm 93; Luke 21. 29-33
Saturday: Daniel 7. 16-27; Psalm 95. 1-7; Luke 21. 34-36
The Feast of Christ the King marks the end of the Christian year with a celebration of triumph, thanksgiving and faith. This year ends with Jesus before Pontius Pilate saying: ‘for this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice’. This conversation is, of course, the prelude to Jesus being condemned to death, with hand-washing Pilate seeking to distance himself from something he allowed not out of conviction but for the sake of a quieter Passover Jerusalem: a vivid reminder of how often we back away from our own responsibilities and seek to push the blame on others.
The triumph and thanksgiving will come at a cost, the cost of Jesus’ self-offering – His giving of Himself for us that we might find a new life for this world and the next. He experiences the fickleness of humankind, the lust for power and the disregard for those the powerful think weak. He takes all this, just as he takes all who feels themselves abandoned, forgotten and pushed aside. He turns what is meant to be the cross of shame and defeat into a throne. Out of what looks like weakness will come resurrection and forgiveness, healing and hope This year, like the one before it, has been (and still is!) difficult so it is good to end with an affirmation of God sharing our life and our darkness and triumphing over it.
Advent will begin on Sunday week with the service ‘from darkness to light’ another affirmation of the Christ who comes to lift us up. This is what our faith offers to us – a God who loves us wherever and however we are, a God who does not forget us or walk away from us, no matter how often we forget Him or walk away from Him ourselves. His will for us is renewal, refreshment and strength: Christ the King, who offers us the Way to live and the Way to live with Him.
Next week we hope to begin a mailshot to all of our congregation with news of the Margam Ministry Area, details of the Christmas services and a request to complete an electoral roll form so that we can elect two people from each church to serve on the Ministry Area Council. I will stress (again!) that in practice you won’t notice any difference. The services continue, the clergy remain in post and we do everything we have always done. All the funds remain where they are as well.
We have a very busy time with the Christmas tree festival returning on 29th December and we will give a full list of events and concerts next week. Until then:
May Christ the King make you faithful and strong and bring you to reign with Him in glory