Sunday, November 25, 2007

King’s Cross – A Sermon

    The last line we read in Paul's letter to the Colossians says it all. "For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of the cross."

    God's fullness was in Christ.

    Through Christ, God reconciles all things to himself.

    Whether on earth or in heaven.

    Through the blood of the cross.

    Sometimes, when we go through events like the death of a loved one, we think maybe the world is caving in on us. The idea of somebody we love not being here anymore seems incomprehensible. It seems life can't go on. All time telescopes in on us so that nothing else exists, and what we do see is not good.

    Most of us have gone through this. Some quite recently. And we ask ourselves, why would God allow such a thing? Why do good people die? Why do good people suffer?

    Remember the criminal hanging on the cross who said to Jesus, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!"? In a way, he was asking the same thing. He was crying out what so many of us want to know: If you're God, why do you allow us to die? Do something about it.

    What Jesus did from that cross was say, "Today you will be with me in paradise." Granted, he said it to the other criminal, but he left open the possibility for both. And then -- the Son of God in whom dwells the fullness of God -- died.

    When we go through traumatic times, all faith can fly out the window because we're so caught up in the pain. Fortunately, that's usually a temporary effect. We make it through that pain and understand that God has always been with us and always will be. We understand that we all have a finite amount of time on this earth but an endless life in heaven. And that Christ is our king wherever we are.

    If God's fullness is in Christ, and if Christ is king, and if Christ reconciles all things to God: What does that tell us, especially when we are in the valley of the shadow of death?

    Unlike other kings, who rule with pomp and power and often a show of military might -- this king leads his people from a cross. He leads us not to power over others but power to open ourselves to others. He shows us that the greatest victory is not over others but in reconciling with others. He guides us through the pain that is inevitable in life -- never around it -- and brings us home to the kingdom that has no end.

    These are all things you know already. God loves us. God is with us in good and bad but will not make bad things stop and will not keep us on this earth forever. God reconciles us to himself. God leads us -- through Christ.

    It's just that sometimes we need reminding because life can seem so overwhelming.

    It is our belief and our joy that life will never overwhelm Christ our King.