It’s hard for me to know where to begin today. I wrote in last week’s post about the Peace Conference at Lake Junaluska, and some impressions on the opening night. The next morning I saw on the news that “Jihadi John,” the masked British-accented executioner for ISIS, had likely been killed by a drone strike.
I never heard confirmation of that, since the news that has demanded the headlines since that evening is the attacks in Paris. Brutal, monstrous attacks. Since then we’ve seen images of a grieving world, as well as those brazen spokespersons for ISIS, promising—with uncovered faces—that they will bring such attacks to Washington, New York, and Rome. And we’ve seen a degree of fear and panic throughout the western world. While it is a time for concern and alertness, as I heard one commentator say, it is not a time for fear. Fear must not be our guide.
The scriptures tell us repeatedly, “Fear not.” You could say that is the message of the Book of Revelation, from which we’ll read on Sunday, to a people confronted with great evil and suffering. “Fear not. Do not fear, because we know who is ultimately in control. Do not give up the faith, do not abandon hope, because we know who can never be defeated, come what may.”
This Sunday is the last Sunday of the Christian liturgical/worship year. It is referred to as “Christ the King” or “The Reign of Christ.” We’ll try to answer Pilate’s question, “So you are a king?” And what kind of King might Christ be? Obviously not like a King Herod, or Caesar, or King Henry, or any earthly king we have known!
At the 11:00 service, my message will be very short, as the choir will present “Five Mystical Songs” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, with orchestra. They have been working very hard on this and word is that it will be very meaningful.
Sunday will be good time to answer the fears of our day with Scripture, prayers, songs, hymns and anthems…worshiping, praising, and seeking the guidance of the One who promises the day when“The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them….They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6, 9)
See you Sunday at the place of Peace, Hope, and Healing