By Elle Dowd
The Feast of Christ the King is a fairly more recent addition to our liturgical calendar, created between the First and Second World War as a day set apart to resist the rise of fascism, nationalism, and godlessness. If you read the news, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to connect the threat of fascism to our contemporary headlines.
Rev. Carla Christopher-Waid
Texts: Job 19:23-27a, Psalm 17:1-9, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17, Luke 20:27-38
At first read, the texts we wrestle with today speak to the resurrection. The faithful and ever believing Job speaks of when his Redeemer will walk the earth. Then, in one of the most lovely and intimate pieces of poetry in the First Testament, Job says that "in my flesh, I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another." The text turns to a blissful surrender of self for a delicious embracing of the connectivity, the unity, we experience once the moment is surrendered for the eternal. Once the loneliness of self alone is surrendered for self as part of a greater, interwoven whole. Job does not demonize his earthly flesh, he does not dismiss the importance of living fully into our God-given bodies. At the same time he looks forward to the beauty that comes from looking at his body and seeing not just the flesh of Job, but the Spirit of God. Job and God are one, Job's neighbor, the one who stands at his side, is also one with God. Therefore Job and his neighbor are not separate, not isolated and alone. They are both beloved creations of God, carriers of the same divine spark. That realization of our connectedness in the Redeemer is so beautiful that Job's "heart faints within" him.
by Rev. Marilyn Pagán-Banks
I spent many hours this past weekend watching the homegoing service for the Honorable Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (ashé) held at his home church, New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Many showed up and told of his life’s work and how he lived his life with love and integrity, taught and brought others along in the fight for what is right and gave his all to protect our democracy.
When remembering Congressman Cummings, one of his mentors, Larry Gibson stated that “the public Elijah that you saw was the real and authentic Elijah – there was nothing phony about him.”
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