Monday, November 21, 2016

This is our King


As we drove down the road to Tonaca, a pick-up truck pulled out in front of us.  "Hey, it's Jesus!" my husband said, as we followed close behind.  The large statue of Jesus stood on a processional platform, with the wooden handles laid across the sides of the bed of the pick-up.  Jesus wore a golden crown and robes of white and crimson red - the traditional colors chosen for Jesus by most Roman Catholic churches for their Christ the King celebrations.  In the back of the truck, a man was practically wrestling with Jesus, as the strong wind tried to lift the statue right out of the truck.  We followed the truck all the way into our sister church community.  They turned off at the Catholic Church, and we climbed up the hill to the Lutheran Church.

Christ the King Sunday is a Lutheran tradition too.  The decorations in the Lutheran Church were already blue for the coming season of Advent.  A little Christmas tree stood in the corner with blinking lights.  The pastor welcomed everyone and made note of the celebration going on at the church down the hill, complete with fireworks, and a procession of prayer and song with a statue of Christ the King.

We sang a song - a song about our King Jesus...

You are the God of the poor,
The human God and simple,
The God that sweats in the street,
The God of the weather-beaten face.

You go with my people by the hand.
You sweat in the countryside and the city
And are standing in line over there at the camp
In order to receive your daily pay.
You eat a little bit over in the park
With Eusebio, Pancho and Juan José,
And you protest about the syrup
when they lie that it doesn't have much honey.

I have seen you in the pupuseria
that's in the community.
I have seen you selling lottery tickets,
And you are not ashamed of this role.
I have seen you in the gas station,
checking the tires on a truck
and repairing the highways
with leather gloves and overalls.

God came to hang out with regular people, with poor people, with people who were sick, with people cast aside by society, with the migrant and the widow.  Our King was born to a poor family.  Our King, the King of Kings went from place to place to be with people.  He was homeless.  The King of Kings was crucified, hanged between two criminals.  The Son of God, our King, was beaten, insulted, and crucified because he loved people, because he healed blind people and deaf people, because he cared about the widow and the outcast, and mostly because he forgave people.  The King of Kings was crucified for doing all this good.

"I would much rather hang out and be friends with this humble king of love who has a heart for the poor, than the rich and fancy kings of this world," said the pastor.  He reminded us that our mission as the church is to continue this work done by the King of Kings.  Each one of us is called to be that person that shows up to share, shows up to love our neighbor and shows up to forgive.  When something happens we cannot just sit on our butts and expect someone else to do the work.  We are the ones who have to be there and carry out this mission of love, or Jesus' church is not going to grow.

We celebrate Christ the King Sunday by recommitting ourselves to be faithful to what God's Word teaches us, that is to love God above all else, and to love each other.






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