Monday, 26 November 2012

Christ the King

Christus Vincit! Christus Regnat! Christus Imperat!
 Christ in humble majesty on the early 11th century Rood at Romsey Abbey, Hampshire 
The joy of another working-at-home Monday. I'm re-reading Fay Sampson's Runes On The Cross - the story of our Anglo-Saxon Christian heritage. She talks about the imagery of Christ as Hero and King, for example the beautiful, suffering and victorious hero whose throne is the Cross in the Dream of the Rood (for a delightful website have a look here).

The Saxon kings promised protection and lavished gifts on their followers; in return those who followed would ascribe all their successes to the king and return their gifts to him: a mutual exchange of goods. To those versed in Ignatian-speak this might sound familiar - an echo of the beautiful Contemplation on God's Love at the end of the Exercises, where Ignatius reminds us that love involves a sharing and exchange of gifts between the lover and beloved. Our love-affair with God is like that.

I'm sitting here warm and dry at home watching images of the floods in other parts of the UK: people have lost homes and possessions, and some have lost their lives. Please find a moment to pray for them, whatever sorrows and fears of your own are filling your prayers right now.  The Church's year ended yesterday with the Feast of Christ the King: Lord, eternal Word of God spoken over the primeval floods - you are also one of us, Suffering Servant, and soon we will meet you again as the helpless, exiled child. Stay with us... Overcome in us.

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; 
the Lord is enthroned as King for ever. 
The Lord gives strength to his people; 
the Lord blesses his people with peace. 
(Psalm 29)

Amen, amen.

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