Love Wins - Reflections 11-21-18

 Sunday, November 25, 2018
 Christ the King Sunday

 Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
 Psalm 93
 Revelation 1:4b-8
 John 18:33-37

 I live in the Quad Cities’ television market. On Saturday, the local news ran a story about the Western Illinois University football game that day against Indiana State. Actually, the game was only the background for their report on the “Rally for Love” taking place on the WIU campus. Earlier in the week, an anti-gay church group from Kansas announced that they were coming to Macomb to protest. They have traveled around the USA for years, protesting LBGTQIA+ people and relationships. Indiana State’s football team has a player who is openly gay and so this group decided to bring their protest to this college’s campus. WIU students and faculty responded by organizing the Rally for Love across the street from the group. It featured musical groups and a couple of speakers. There were signs with “Love Not Hate”, “All are welcome here” and “Love Wins”. Western’s president Jack Thomas had encouraged those in the counter-protest to represent peace: “Let us practice the exact opposite of this organization’s message. At Western, we value and support our LGBTQIA+ community, and [provide an] ...inclusive environment for all members of the University community.” Over 700 people participated in the rally.

You know what I saw on TV that morning? God’s kingdom at work in the world.

This Sunday, the last one in the liturgical church year, invites us to consider our understanding of God’s kingdom by looking toward it’s king. It is named Christ the King Sunday. If you skim through the first three readings, you will find descriptions and all the trappings of majesty and honor that one confers upon royalty. But then you get to the Gospel. Christ the King stands before Pilate as a prisoner being interrogated for a possible capital crime. That is the lens through which we look at our King’s kingdom.

Jesus redefines dominion and majesty; God’s power looks different. The truth Jesus brings is love, forgiveness, and service. The Revelation text says that he made us to be a kingdom through that love, forgiveness, and service.

Sometimes, especially when I watch newscasts, it feels the like hate, conflict, lies, and pain always win. There is no doubt about it - we live in a world of big hurt. 

Jesus lived in the same “big hurt” world. In fact, God so loved that hurting world that he sent Jesus who reached out to the least and lost, served others, testified to God’s truth of welcome and forgiveness, brought love rather than hate. Jesus looked Pilate in the eye, and said that his kingdom “is not from here”. A few hours from that moment, the king claimed his throne, the cross.

Sometimes, TV news tells of an event like the Rally for Love. The hope of Christ’s kingdom breaks through the hurt to proclaim Love Wins.

Where do you see the kingdom of Christ the King around you?

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245