RAMBLINGS FROM THE VICAR……
This has been a sad week. On Monday, we heard of the sudden, unexpected death of Theo Roach. Theo was almost five years old, and had been a part of our prayer ministry for his whole life. He was born with some terrible medical problems, and endured many surgeries, and more time in hospital than at home. Yet, he was described by friends and family as a cheerful and happy boy, who worked hard to overcome some of his discouraging challenges. We continue to pray for his parents, Josh and Lauri, and other friends and family.
Our gospel reading today is a vision of the second coming of the Christ. The first thing to notice, is the contrasts between this vision and the Feast we will celebrate in a little over one month’s time – Christmas. At his first coming, Jesus is a helpless infant, born to a young woman in doubtful circumstances, at a time in history when her people were oppressed by a foreign power – Rome. There was no real place he belonged (there was no room in the house). He was hunted and persecuted by those in power (Herod’s massacre of innocent children). To protect him, his family were forced to flee as refugees to another country – Egypt – to escape death.
At his second coming, he arrives in Glorious splendour, attended by angels, and his proper place is the throne of his glory. Here, he is depicted as the judge of all the nations. They are brought before him, and he separates them into two groups. On the right – depicted as sheep – go all those who are blessed, or praised, by The Father. On the left – depicted as goats – go all those who are cursed; whose fate it is to go to the place prepared for the devil and all his messengers.
There is only one criteria in the sorting: compassion for Jesus’ family.
Jesus Christ the king considers his ‘brothers’ – his little ones, to be like his emissaries in the world. The treatment of them, represents the treatment of the king himself.
One most confronting aspect of this vision, is its reflection on us as the Church. Not only individually, but as The Body of Christ on earth, we must never lose sight of our obligations toward the members of Christ’s family. What we don’t do for them, we don’t do for Christ himself.
But equally, all nations must deal with The Body of Christ in the same way. THAT makes me think!
This week, let’s reflect on how followers of Christ are viewed by the rest of the world. It is not simple, of course – it is very complicated. We don’t live at judgement day! We live in a world filled with struggle and pain.
So, how can we respond to those who are hungry for justice?
How can we deal with those whose water has been stolen?
How can we help those whose nakedness is bought by the powerful?
How can we assist those millions who are sick with Covid 19?
How can we free those who are locked down, or in prisons of abuse, from which there is little hope of escape?
To begin, we have to see that they are Jesus Christ, the King.
I struggled to find other songs suitable for today – but this one just fits so well. Enjoy singing it!
God bless your week.