Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today’s text

Ephesians 1:20-23

God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.


The year draws to an end. For the church, the end is Christ, an end we celebrate on Christ the King Sunday, Nov.20.

Recent years have seen a spate of apocalyptic-tinged films offering cataclysmic visions of the end of the world--or at least the end of the ordered, civilized world as we know it.

Difficult times when social, economic and political structures seem to erode and crumble always spur speculation about the end of things. Most human speculation about “the end” is violent and fearful, pitting human strength and determination against irresistible destruction.

This tension provides fodder for movie plots with lots of explosions and improbable special effects that kill and maim, as lead characters employ their cunning and strength as they try to escape and thrive by force of their will.

Whether they survive or not, the “end of things’ comes as threat, and human beings are on their own. They must do the best they can without thought that other, more gracious forces are at work amid the crumbling of society and the shaking of Earth’s crust.

But this is not the end of things, nor is it our end.

The end is Christ. All things were made for him, in him, and by him. All is shaped by the life and power that is Being, Life and Love.

In the Church, the poor, confused, often failing Church, the grace and power of Christ is present, filling that broken body with the substance of grace and care, life and joy amid the pains and challenges of life.

Christ is filling the Church with the fullness of the Loving Wonder, the Eternal Mystery whom no eye has seen, except ours, of course, for we see him. We see him in every act of grace and goodness, in the morning sun across the autumn tress, in bread broken and wine poured of the Eucharist, in the eager and empty hands of those who receive this gift of the life Christ is. Knowing the limits of the life they hold, they long for that Life which is filling the Church … and will fill all until all that is left is Life.

And that’s the end--Life, the Life that shines in the face of Jesus Christ, the Life that is the Life of the Eternal One, filling all that is … and us.

No exploding buildings, no fearful violent destruction, just Life. Our end, the end of things … is only the beginning.

Pr. David L. Miller