This Sunday the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Christ the King. This is the bookend to the Liturgical Calendar. We begin the year with Advent announcing the comings of Christ (as a child, and at the end of time) and we end with this unapologetic statement that Christ is King of all.
The Solemnity (highest feast) of Christ the King was established in the beginning of the twentieth century during the rise of totalitarian governments that were trying to claim ultimate authority over, pretty much everything—physical and spiritual. The Church was not having it and made it abundantly clear to the world that Christ is Lord of all with the institution of this feast. The proverbial corrective bitch slap was given if you will.
The Solemnity of Christ the King is a yearly reminder, a re-centering if you will, to all of us Christians that Christ in fact is ruler of all. That includes your whole life by the way—not just Sundays. I am not going to lie; I need that corrective bitch slap often. I think we all do.
During this last U.S election, it was made abundantly clear that for many of us who claim to be Christians, Christ is not King of all. Maybe we allow Him to reign in some parts of our life, but not all of it. The level of reliance that some place on politicians, whether local or federal, is something I do not really compute. I have seen and read about friendships ending, families being divided by political allegiances. Allegiances that folks stake their lives on. A faith in government that I think has become for some, an idol-cult like worship of sorts.
My oldest daughter is seven years old and this was the first election that she was rational enough for us to discuss. We talked about politics in general and what candidates stood for. We voiced that both democratic and republican sides had some good, and bad policies they championed, and that both sides were imperfect. Whether good or bad this is what we currently must work with in government. As we emphasized the importance of learning about the issues, voting and the need for good political leaders, we made it abundantly clear that God is ultimately Lord of all. Governments rise and fall—so will ours. Yet through it all Christ is King. Today. Tomorrow. Always.
I am convinced that politics matters to God. That His Sacred Heart hurts when men and women He has given the gift to lead politically, swerve away from doing so in unjust, and immoral ways. I am convinced that we need to be politically responsible individuals, learning about issues and forming our consciences via truth. Yet, I am convinced that politics is not a savior. It cannot and will not save you, me, or America.
This great Solemnity of Christ the King is a great reminder and re-centering for me. It challenges me to look at all aspects of my life. Finance. Health. Everything. Am I an American first and Christian second? Does my comfort and wealth come first and Christ second? Does my career come before Christ? Am I giving Christ rule over all of it?
Not always the most comfortable thing to ponder. Rest assure though, generations have been wrestling with this for a long time:
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15