Skip to main content

Christ the King Holds Us Together

This is the message I preached this morning at Zion Lutheran Church, Baker, WV.
Being a part of our household can be quite an adventure and you just never know where it may lead. Those who know me well know I am not the most graceful or coordinated person. Inanimate objects in our home also suffer the consequences of getting bumped, knocked over, dropped, and sometimes broken. We keep a good supply of duct tape, glue, and other adhesives in stock. Things can be repaired or replaced. Super Glue is a wonderful invention.
But what about our hearts, our emotions, our families, our church? It is not so easy to fix them. Super Glue is fine for things, but what about OUR brokenness?
We all have circumstances we encounter in life. Sometimes it just becomes too much and we feel hopeless. And we wonder where God is in all of it. It just isn’t supposed to happen like that. Parents lose a child. A long marriage dissolves in the pain of divorce. The poet William Butler Yeats expressed this feeling in these words, “…Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…” (William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming).
            Today is Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday in the church year. As Americans, we may find it difficult to relate to the idea of a king. Kings aren’t part of our culture like they are in some countries. I would like to focus on the reading from Colossians.
            It begins as a prayer for the Colossians and I believe it is one we can claim for ourselves as well. We may feel weak as individuals, as a church. We may wonder where all this will end? Hear this good news:
 11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

            This strength comes from God’s glorious power, which never refers to simply human power in the New Testament. It is God’s power that strengthens us, not our own. God has prepared us to endure.
            This life can be a struggle for us. But in Christ, we have an inheritance. We are children of God and our God has given us a great heritage.
Following the prayer, we are shown just who this Jesus is that we follow. He is our redeemer, the one who has delivered us from “sin, death, and the power of the devil” as Luther wrote in the Small Catechism. He has set us free.
            Jesus is also creator of all things in heaven and earth, seen and unseen. The emphasis throughout the passage is on what God has done, not on what we have to do.
            Jesus is first—the firstborn of all creation, the firstborn from the dead, first place in everything. As one theologian says, “He is first in priority, before all things…first in importance, beyond all things…first in rank, above all things… first in origin, source of all things…first in order, ahead of all things…”  (Audrey L. S. West, New Proclamation). This isn’t saying, “My Savior’s better than yours,” but rather nothing exists anywhere outside of Christ’s domain.
            Now as wonderful as all this is it gets better. Do any of you remember hearing in science class about “cosmic glue”? It is that invisible substance that holds the worlds together. According to an article I read, now there is even a race among scientists to detect traces of this invisible cosmic glue. As Christians, we already know what this cosmic glue is. It is Jesus Christ, the creator of the universe. Jesus not only creates and redeems us, but holds all of creation and us together.
Have you ever seen old photo albums where the pictures were glued onto the pages? What happens over time? The glue dries, the pictures drop off, and everything is all mixed up. It’s a mess. Thankfully, Jesus isn’t like that. Jesus, the cosmic super glue does not dry up, die, or fail. He continues forever to hold all things together. Christ brings creation and us to be in a “condition of [unity to] continue, [to] endure, [to] exist, and hold together" (BDAG).
There have been times in my life when I was desperate--when my family was having financial difficulties, when I had a knee injury and was out of work for a year. I didn’t know how I would cope, how I would go on. Jesus held me together. He held my family together. It’s like the old song says, “He’s got the whole world in his hands…”
            That’s nice, but what is God’s objective in all of this? The heart of everything is summed up in the final verse, “through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.”
            There is hope for us because of who Jesus is and what he has done. This is just the time we need to celebrate Christ the King and his reign in our lives.
            Listen to the way The Message  translation expresses our hope:
He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
            Let us pray:
            Christ our King, we bring our brokenness to you. As the glue that holds everything together, we ask you to fix and heal us. Fit us together in vibrant harmonies of your love and use us to your glory. Amen.

Popular posts from this blog

If and If and If

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 10/1/17 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church. The scripture text is Philippians 2:1-13

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is one of my favorites. It is full of positive, uplifting theology, like “RejoiceintheLordalways; again I will say, Rejoice (Phil. 4:4 ). It’s a feel-good kind of letter. Today’s passage from Philippians is chock full of great stuff and I could get at least 10 sermons out of

I'm Back & Giving Thanks

Sunday, 9/17, was my first Sunday back in the pulpit after 7 months. I am not completely healed from February's back surgery, but am mostly there. The doctor is letting me work only part time until our next visit. This is the sermon from Sunday, 9/17, preached at St. Timothy Lutheran Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church.  based on Psalm 103 1:-13.
When I read today’s lessons, I couldn’t take my eyes of of Psalm 103. This psalm is an individual psalm of one who was struggling in a desperate situation, who called out to God and God delivered him.This is my story too.
As most of you know, I had back surgery in Feb. and I too, received God’s deliverance. Following the back surgery, I contracted an Ecoli infection that nearly killed me. I am here today to declare with the psalmist: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits…”
The odd thing about this psalm is that it isn’t a prayer. It is not ad…

Flying Rebukes

This is the sermon I preached on Sunday, 2/25/18 at St. Timothy. Lutheran Church. The text was Mark 8:31-38. 

Immediately before today’s gospel reading, Jesus had asked his disciples who people say that he is. This is where the light went on for Peter and he made the confession, “You are the Messiah” (Mark 8:29). Peter certainly gave the right answer and was likely thinking of the attributes given to whoever would be the Messiah. The Messiah, people thought, would deliver them from the crushing rule of the Romans. The Messiah would fight their enemies. Basically, the Messiah was a strong king-like figure.
But, now Jesus fleshes out for Peter and others what that is going to look like. They were completely unprepared for the reality.
“Jesus began to teach them” (v. 31). Hadn’t he been teaching the disciples all along? Maybe, but this was different. This wasn’t teaching about miracles and healing. This is the turning point in Mark’s gospel, marking a new beginning.
“Jesus began to teach the…