The church year is wrapping up with one last feast day before Advent begins–Christ the King. The Gospel reading is one of my favourites–Matthew 25. As we enter Advent the words echo in my heart, “Lord when did we see you…?” Are we attentive to the Incarnate One here and now?
The King in the reading is a harsh judge in some aspects. He recognizes the faithful servant and invites them into the Kingdom, prepared from the world’s beginnings. That King is on the cross and depends on our hands, our feet, and our hearts. What was done to others was done to the King. His measuring stick does not change for those he banishes to the eternal fire. What was done to others was done to him, though this time the focus was on what was not done. If time was not used to visit the prisoner, feed the hungry, clothe the poor, comfort the mourning, then these actions–or lack thereof–reap a different outcome.
We enter this Holy Season with many distractions. We can find time to support the hamper that the workplace is pulling together, drop a few coins in the basket at the ringing of the bell, pass a gift certificate to the kid on the street corner with the “Hungry and cold” sign, lessen a sick person’s dreariness, or ensure a burden is lifted. Rather than get caught up in consumerism, what Christmas miracle can you do instead this year? I have a friend who annually since her father’s passing plays angel by coordinating an effort to raise money for a family who has a sick loved one that can use some financial assistance. One Christmas, a school I was involved with took a collection for a family across the street who had all their gifts stolen. Today I spoke to a good friend whose step-daughter is incarcerated right now and I plan to visit on her behalf since she lives out of province. This is the time of year when the Kingdom sprinkles opportunities to bring joy and peace. When people talk about the magic of Christmas, this is what they mean. Be a sheep, not a goat. Look for the King in the broken, the lost, the weary. Reach out and be a Kingdom person….be an angel, singing of good news.