11/22/2013

Christ the King: Necessity of Darkness


Colossians 1:11-20 

Christ the King Statue, Christ the King Retreat Center, Buffalo
Readings:
Getting a good exposure means having the right amount of light on the camera's sensor: too much light and the image will be overexposed and washed out, too little light and it will be dark and murky. Controlling the amount of light to get the right exposure depends on three factors: the lens aperture, the shutter speed, and the sensitivity of the sensor. Because these factors interact to produce the image, different combinations of settings can be used to produce the same exposure.
-- Andy Karr and Michael Wood, The Practice of Contemplative Photography



We lay in our bed as in a tomb
awakened by thunder to the dark
in which our house was one with night,
and then light came as if the black
roof of the world had cracked open,
as if the night of all time had broken,
and out our window we glimpsed the world
birthwet and shining, as even
the sun at noon had never made it shine.
— Wendell Berry, “The Storm”

Sunset over Santa Fe
When chaos strikes, faith-filled people look for ways to quit idolizing their fears. They seek strategies for pulling life back together. The challenge for most of us is to make the priority of Christ more than mere words. Who needs more talk of making Christ first in our lives? The world is full of religious talk. We need instead to act, to live as if Christ were indeed the head of the body, and not some extra equipment we strap on when it’s “third and long.” In Bibles that provide chapter headings, this section of Colossians may be titled “The Supremacy of Christ,” or something similar. This is the Christ in whom “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” Nothing of God is held back or left out of the person of Jesus...Christ is the face or image of the invisible God.
— Peter Marty, Christian Century, 11.16.04

Blessed art thou, king of the universe!
We name you king, lord, master, governor
and by such naming we relieve our deep anxieties
in confidence at your rule.
And yet...we notice your stunning irrelevance to the issues of the day
that require hands-on attention.
We name you king and pray daily for your coming kingdom.
And yet...we also notice that you creep over
into violence and oppressive demand.
We name you king and loudly proclaim that your messiah
will come again, come soon, in glory and power.
And yet...all the while, we grow weary
with the brutal powers of the day.
We name you king and wait for your show of
vulnerability and mercy and compassion
that will “new” the world and heal our common life.
We name you, and we wait...but not patiently.
Blessed art thou, king of the universe! Amen.
— Walter Brueggemann

Questions:
· Do we need both light and dark to see? How much of each?
· How is Christ a light, and how does that light interact with dark?
· Why do we think about Jesus as king this week before Advent?
· What does Christ the King mean to you?


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