Left-overs and the Reign of Christ
by Kathye Hamm
Writing a short reflection that matters to our faith and the church in between the Reign of Christ Sunday and first Sunday of Advent is challenging, not just because of the upcoming end of the world texts but also because the reality around us seems dim and chaotic. This on top of the challenge of what will I do with leftovers still in my refrigerator after thanksgiving dinner. Did we just proclaim the hope that the reign of Christ brings in the face of this – both in my kitchen and the news around us? Compartmentalization of realities is not a strength in my culture. It is hard to read side by side the meaning of Christ’s just reign in the midst of the bombardment of advertisements and the hype of panic buying on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (which is now extended to cyber week – an interesting article talking about the sin of pathological consumerism made me want to scream, not because I’m pure but recognizing that the temptation of capitalism is great indeed). It is difficult to “prepare the way of the Lord” and reflect about the reign of God, where radical hospitality is a way of life, in the face of those at the border, waiting for peace and welcome where hostility and teargas wait for them. It was challenging to enjoy the three-day rains when I am aware of the devastation of the fire in Paradise a week before, even in the knowledge that the rain helped a lot to contain the fire. I cannot fathom the thirst of the earth after our years of drought. And how is it that I have so much literally left over while unexpected crisis hurts many in our communities?
With so much swirling around – and coming soon with Advent and Christmas – I sometimes hear “be still, and know that I am God.” In the quiet space, I can remember that the Reign of Christ is indeed intentional, and that we have something to contribute to it. This speaks volumes to me in times of stewardship through the lens of Missio Dei, the mission of God of which we are all a part. Even though it is challenging, it is important to talk about our giving – in all the ways in which we can give – not based solely on what is “left” after the “feasting.” Giving as a faith response is also intentional. And so with receiving – Christ prepared a feast to which all are invited, coming in from the chaos of the world, being strengthened, and going out to share in abundance, not with scraps.
We can truly welcome Christ’s reign, for it is here and happening, even amidst chaos and challenges. Wait with intentionality. Hope with actions.
Tita Valeriano, Assistant to the Bishop and Director for Evangelical Mission
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
April 16, 2019
April 09, 2019
April 02, 2019