(In The Life Of The Church)
Christ the King
Earlier this year (church calendar year) I received a generous email from a student who praised my preaching and wanted to introduce himself because he was new to the church. After a bit of sermon analysis he said, but I want to make one suggestion. He cited his favorite preacher and noted that they "share the gospel in every message." The email exchange included only my reply, so I don't know what the sum total of the gospel message was for this particular individual. I'm guessing that he meant something like Romans 3:23, 5:8 and 10:9. I don't disagree. That is the gospel AND it is so much more.
I said a few things in my answer, but in it I included the fact that we believe liturgy is formative and that the gospel is so large it takes at least a year to tell the story. And it needs to be heard again every year. During Advent we begin our year new again. We start from the beginning with the hope that He who has come will come again. We wear the story of Israel longing and then celebrate when Christ arrives clinging to the promise that he will advent again. 12 days later we welcome Mathews inclusive addition noting that this arrival is for the whole world. It includes foreign kings. This is good news for us because we are gentiles!
After a short period of ordinary time we begin again on Ash Wednesday. This is Romans 3:23. We are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God and so it important that we live into that reality. If we don't begin by properly diagnosing the problem, we can’t move towards the correct solution. For about six weeks we remind ourselves of that sin during Lent. After that six week period of dessert walking and mindful preparing is over we enter into Holy Week. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
Plight moves to solution. Hegel called it thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Walter Brueggemann calls it orientation, disorientation and new orientation, but the theological language describes the pattern this way: Life, Death, and Resurrection. It is God’s new creation promised to us in front of the foundations of the earth. A pattern in creation and a pattern interrupted once and for all in God’s yes to humanity. In Jesus, death died.
People were made to party, so that’s what we do during the Easter season. We sit at the banquet table and celebrate. The end has signaled our new beginning. But Christ must go so that the Spirit can come (John 16:7). Our hearts burned near the end of Easter and now our hair has been set on fire. The gospel has been proliferated by the Spirit who is the sign and seal of our salvation.
But this takes courage. The gospel is already, but not yet. Living into the resurrection means that we too may have to die. Die in our marriages, die in our relationships, die in humility or just plain die. There are martyrs, even today, who die for this story. We give up the right to be right when we wear the pattern of life, death and resurrection.
To borrow a phrase from Anne Lamott, “we are all scared little kittens.” That’s how we are sent out in this peaceless world. As salt and light to give taste and vision to a blind and bland world. But take heart, because you have been sent with God’s Spirit. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you (Romans 8:11). And so, in what turns out to be the longest season on our calendar, we practice. We rehearse this story that has been told. We play out the patterns of forgiveness and generosity. We are a people who strive to hope all things with kindness and patience. We become the latest instalment of God’s mercy filled rescue plan.
But I must warn you of something. Not everyone will be glad to hear about the constitution that comes with the pattern. Jesus has made some dangerous claims. Claims that got him killed. And now they must be our claims. Chief among them is that He is chief. Christ is King. No one hates this claim more than Caesar.
Sometimes I pity Caesar. He or she is dealt a losing hand to begin with. Caesar’s empire has stretched from England to India, between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but now there are hundreds of Cesar’s all over the world. Cesars that build nuclear warheads. Caesars whose best option is send troops to war to kills hundreds of people to save others. Caesars who drop bombs with drones. Caesars who have to appoint judges to make decisions about whose lives are most important. Can you imagine? Who would want that job?
You see life, death and resurrection is an invitation. It’s a community of Three Persons, but They make for terrible politics. And so the church is called to live in a world where Caesar plays second fiddle. And this Sunday we throw our ecclesiological new years party with that in mind. Sunday we celebrate that Christ is King.
Thanksgiving Love Feast
That time of the year when you eat the same meal in four different settings and it's amazing. Kick off your turkey eating season Sunday night(11/20) @ 6:00 PM as we dine together in fine fashion at our annual Thanksgiving Love Feast. UBC will provide the turkey you provide the sides. email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Parents, our annual advent workshop will be after church (after lunch) on Sunday November 27th. If you have not already been contacted about participating and would like to do so, email email@example.com
Work is Worship
Greeters: Will & Richardsons
Coffee Makers: Joy & Ryan
Mug Cleaners: Dilan & Shane
Money Counter: Anna Tilson
- Sunday Sermon: Christ the King Sunday: Testimony!
- Backside Event: Dec 2nd
- Order of Phoenix Dallas Event: Dec. 3
- Study Hall: Dec 7th
- The Middle Ages Christmas Party Dec. 17
Do you have an emergency and need to talk to a pastor?
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UBC Finance Team
Do you have a question about UBC’s financial affairs? Please feel free to contact any of your finance team members.
Josh McCormick: Josh.McCormick@dwyergroup.com
Hannah Kuhl: HannahKuhl@hotmail.com
Justin Pond: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Tilson: Anna_Tilson@jrbt.com
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UBC HR Team
If you have concerns about staff and would like contact our human resources team, please feel free to email any of the following members.
Maxcey Blaylock: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Rob Engblom: Rob_Engblom@baylor.edu
Ross Van Dyke: Ross_Vandyke@baylor.edu
Jared Gould: firstname.lastname@example.org