Christ the King




“Here, these are for the foodbank.  They were there for me these last months and I want to give something back.” 

I was shocked.  I knew that this woman’s personal circumstances were an emotional hell.  I didn’t know that she was going through an economic hell too.  I didn’t know that she was unable, for some months, to put food on the table for her children.

Conflicting feelings coursed through me: how could I not have known?  If I had known, what would I have done?  How does one support and help while preserving dignity?

It is so easy to give money, to donate food.  We never have to look at the recipient of our charity in the eyes.

‘I was hungry, you saw, you knew, you acted. 
I was thirsty, you were there, you gave water. 
You didn’t keep your mouth closed when I was bullied for being different.  You stuck up for me.  Befriended me. 
You were close enough to see my nakedness and your compassion clothed me. 
When I was sick, closed in, at my lowest, you came, you dressed my wounds, held a cup to my dry lips, waited while I slowly ate a few morsels.
You loved me.’

Dear friends, every day we will have opportunity to be Christ’s hands and feet and voice to His little ones.  Every day we will have the chance to be good news, to bring hope where there is despair.  Each and every day, Christ the servant King is bringing salvation to the world; He brings it through you and through me.

Do we have eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to love?

Will we judge those in need as feckless, spongers, tricksters?  Will we always be protective of what we have?

In a world turned upside down in ways we never imagined, we are perhaps now the ones who feel in prison with no one to visit.  Some of us may be hungry and thirsty and sick.  It may be I who is the stranger here with no networks of support.  How do we support one another in need in such a way that you or I feel valued, worthy, also with something to offer?

I remember visiting some poor villages in South Africa during a period of drought. All some families had was dry maize boiled up, not very palatable.  Yet, in the homes we visited, we were without fail offered a bowl of food.  We were not that hungry but we were fed.

Times will become much harder through 2021.  Many of us will need to tighten our belts; to budget more carefully; to forgo certain luxuries.  We may need to downsize quite radically.  Sell our car and rely on public transport.  Will we, like those African villagers, still be generous with what we have?  Will we, as they do, recognise the dignity of every person who crosses their path, a dignity worthy of the effort of hospitality and care?

I wonder whether I will manage to continue to be God’s ambassador of love and dignity when I am threatened?  I wonder how I will receive the charity of others when I am in need?

A verse of St Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (12:9a) haunts me at this time: 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

The weaknesses of which Paul speaks are character, insults, hardships, persecutions, calamities.  These things happen in life and none of us are exempt.  The effects of Covid 19 on many of us are calamitous, life has become hard, for all sorts of material, emotional, physical, relational reasons. 

Christ the king dignifies the weak.
Christ the servant king expects us to do the same.

Page last updated: 16th November 2020 11:48 AM
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