Christ the King brought us to the end of this liturgical year. The First Holy Communion children brought fallen leaves to symbolise the changing seasons. I have always seen Christ the King as the lead in to Advent. However this year, I saw for the first time a different dynamic.
In Advent we wait for God’s promised King. We sit in wonder at the Crib, at Christmas, gazing at the little hands of the Word-made-Flesh.Through Lent we walk with him through the desert and then Holy Week we witness his Passion. Ordinary time gives us more time to contemplate the God who came to Earth to die for us. We hear teaching and miracles woven together in such a way that our love for our God deepens. Then we finish with a flourish. The final weeks focus on the second coming and on the reality of Christ’s Kingship. As we saw on Sunday Christ kingdom is not of this world. The Incarnation means God’s kingdom is open to us now and it stretches into the future with our hope of the heavenly Kingdom, when we will truly come home.
Following this moment where the past, present and future are bound up together in the person of Christ the King, we pause and then begin again the wait for the coming of God’s promised King, the one who brings God’s kingdom to Earth. With each liturgical year, as we enter into the contemplation of the promise, arrival, ministry and passion of Jesus Christ, our experience of our God is deepened.
Sometimes God brings us to a place that is at odds with the liturgical year but the cycle of the seasons, with their different colours and tones more often than not supports our spiritual life. It gives a rhythm and challenge to our walk with God. And because it is the rhythm for the whole Church it means that we walk the highs and lows together, forming our relationships as the Body of Christ.