While my home church sang praises to King Jesus and also ran a food pantry, the Feast of the Reign of Christ boldly proclaims that the hungry won't be hungry forever. While others in the '60s juxtaposed sweet harmonies with earnestly social lyrics, Dylan conjured a complex vision of social upheaval—a vision both threatening and profoundly hopeful.
When Advent comes, I worry, agonize and cry. Advent is daunting. Advent is my Everest. That’s why this year I’ve decided to add humor. I’ve taped a greeting card above my computer. On it is a cat offering the card’s recipient a gesture of love—in its paws it holds a heart-shaped hairball. When I’m wrestling with an Advent sermon and losing, this cartoon will explain why.
This Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King. All of the readings for this Sunday focus on kingship—David’s, God’s, Jesus’. Jesus’ views on kingship are revealed in his famous discussion with Pilate. Jesus makes it clear that his kingship is directed at testifying to the truth.
Jesus is a king with a specific mission: he has come into the world to testify to the truth.
What do young people look for in church? In research done in 250 congregations among people ages 15–29, respondents repeatedly said they were looking for congregations that were “welcoming, accepting, belonging, authentic, hospitable, and caring.” The researchers began to call this set of concerns the “warmth cluster.” Worship bands and ministry programs are not a priority, nor is busyness. Even “niceness” doesn’t work with young people. What they apparently seek at church is a sense of family, which calls for intergenerational relationships (Washington Post, September 6).