“…he who is the blessed and only Sovereign,
the King of kings and Lord of lords,…
I Timothy 6:15
This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday, the final sabbath in the liturgical year. Unlike some of the festivals of the liturgical year, Christ the King Sunday is of relatively recent origin. Established via a decree of Pope Pius XI in 1925, it was embraced by the Christian world at large following the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. In his original decree Pope Pius, observing the destruction of World War I, the industrialization of Europe and the rise of international commerce sought to refocus the life of the church on the kingship of Christ. We too, in our over-scheduled, high demand world do well to remember and recall the singular place of Jesus as Lord of all.
This concluding Sunday in the liturgical year offers us a last chance to reflect on God’s blessings to us, individually and collectively, as the year draws to a close. Even in a year such as 2020, which saw a global pandemic, social and political upheaval and more than its share of natural disasters, there is reason to give thanks. In this regard, Christ the King Sunday dovetails nicely with our own national observance of Thanksgiving. In this time of harvest we are surrounded by the evidence of God’s abundance – of food, friends, shelter and most of all sustaining love. This year is different, different than those we have known before, different from our fondest hopes, and yet a time of giving thanks. May we savor anew the blessings that have come our way in 2020 and humbly offer our thanks and praise. May our homes be blessed with a spirit of thankfulness. The Rev. Henry Van Dyke, renown Presbyterian pastor, teacher and diplomat said, “Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse”.
Happy Thanksgiving to all,