The Reign of Christ marks the end of the Christian liturgical year. This Reign began with the Resurrection of Jesus. We celebrate our salvation in Jesus Christ from spiritual death in the kingdom of darkness and baptism into eternal spiritual life in the Kingdom of those in right-relationship with God. The Readings begin with Jeremiah's promise that God would raise up a "righteous branch" line who would save His people from spiritual death - the consequence of their sin guilt and separation. Next Paul reminds the people of Colosse (in modern Turkey) that they have been rescued from spiritual death in the Kingdom of Darkness through their faith in the shed blood of Jesus.
1. Gospel teaches us how to enter the Kingdom of God
Notice the different responses of people to Jesus.
- · People were confused - quietly watching
- · Religious authorities 'sneered' at Jesus - challenged their religious authority and position
- · Soldiers 'mock' Jesus - challenged their faith in power
- · One criminal insulted Jesus - challenged Jesus authenticity like many people in our post-truth society
- · Other criminal believed in Jesus and asked to be remembered when He came into His Kingdom
2. "Post-truth" society - new word for Kingdom of Darkness
· "Post-truth" was just chosen by the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary as the "new word of the year" (2016)
- · Describes the post-modern confusion of many people living in a culture which has become so political and divided that there is no consensus on truth
- · Culture of lies and word manipulation for political gain that has led to spiritual and moral chaos and decline
- · Began during the Enlightenment and Reformation as a questioning of the abuse of authority by the Christian Church - and led to questioning Biblical authority
- · Driven by modern special interest groups - misguided liberals, "progressives", racists, women and the sexually confused all seeking political respect and power
3. Paul challenges us to have endurance and patience
The people of Colosse failed to have this endurance and patience. In 2013 I saw the pile of rubble that is all that remains of this once great city. Some of us fear that this is what will become of the Anglican Church of Canada if we continue to 'go political' in compromising with and affirming this post-truth society as opposed to following Paul's advice of having endurance and patience to challenge our culture by proclaiming the Good News of Jesus as the real truth
- · Paul prays that they - and we, be filled with "knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit brings" (1.9 omitted in the Reading)
- · That this wisdom and understanding will help them "live a life worthy of the Lord..." (1.10)
- · Reminds them of the essential belief that Jesus has "...rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the KIngdom of the Son He loves,.." (1.14)
- · Reminds us that this is through faith in the shed blood of Jesus on the Cross - and not us being loving or good as some teach.
Post-truth society needs to be clearly challenged by the Good News of eternal spiritual life through belief in the shed blood of Jesus Christ!