Reign of Christ

On November 25, 2018, in Sunshine Cathedral, by Rev.Dr. Robert

Reign of Christ Rev Dr Durrell Watkins, Senior Minister Let us dwell together in peace, and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; and now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen. You’ll remember Aunt Bea from the Andy Griffith Show. Well, I had an Auntie […]

Reign of Christ
Rev Dr Durrell Watkins, Senior Minister

Let us dwell together in peace, and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; and now, may God’s word be spoken, may only God’s word be heard. Amen.

You’ll remember Aunt Bea from the Andy Griffith Show.
Well, I had an Auntie from Wickes, AR.
Auntie was my dad’s aunt. She was the first person in the family to go to college and the first to earn a Master’s degree.

Auntie’s parents died in their 50s. Auntie, by contrast, almost doubled that by living to be 96. As a kid, she suffered from Asthma. She was considered the most delicate of her siblings, and yet she outlived them all.

When Auntie was 88 she was diagnosed with cancer. Because the disease was thought to be aggressive, the treatment would have been harsh, and she was already 88, the doctor suggested that she get her affairs in order, enjoy her remaining months and he assured her that he could keep her comfortable throughout.

She countered, “Tell me more about the treatment option.”

The doctor assured her it would be unpleasant, there was only a 50% chance of it working, and even if it did…why bother extending her life a year or two, if most of the next year would be uncomfortable from the treatment? At 88, there was just no point.

Auntie said, “I don’t seem to have much to lose, and I’d like to give it a shot.” The doctor thought this was foolish, but since she insisted, he would give her the difficult treatment.

PS – the treatment worked. At 88, Auntie received a treatment that had a 50% chance of giving her two more years of life…She lived 8 more years happy and surrounded by love and joyful activity. In fact, on her last day alive…her attendant picked her up, took her to get her hair done, and then took her to lunch…some of her favorite activities, and when she got home she lied down with perfectly coiffed hair, took a nap, and never woke up. 96 years concluded with a perfect day that ended with a peaceful passing.

She wasn’t afraid to try the treatment even with no guarantee of it working.
She wasn’t afraid of what people would think of her for seeking treatment against advice.
She wasn’t afraid to look for hope in what was described as a hopeless situation.
Because she could SEE hope, should could SEIZE it. And she seized 8 more years of life while she was at it.

Rev. Ike used to say, “If you can see it, you can be it.”

And comic Flip Wilson famously and repeatedly quipped, “What you see is what you get.”

If we can see it, we can seize it.
If we can see it, we can be it.
What we see, is what we are likely to get.

In the 6th chapter of the book of Isaiah we read, “I saw God on a lofty throne with a robe that filled the entire Temple.”
Throne represents power. Temple represents holiness. And a robe that fills all space symbolizes omnipresence. The prophet’s vision is of an omnipresent power that is all good.

Isaiah “sees” God as omnipresent, benevolent power.
He saw a power that was everywhere present. He understood God to be omnipresent Goodness.

How do we “see” God? It will determine how we experience God.

Today – the brief gospel lesson shows us Jesus riding into town on a donkey’s colt.
Not a stallion.
Not a chariot pulled by a team of horses.
A donkey.
And a colt at that – a baby donkey!
How ridiculous. Not a king on a war horse, but a peasant on a jack ass.

But what does the scripture say?
DO NOT BE AFRAID! Look! Your sovereign, your Lord is coming sitting on a donkey’s colt!

Do not be afraid to see hope in the unlikely.
Do not be afraid to see possibility in the ridiculous.
Do not be afraid to see the sacred in the silly.
Do not be afraid to see a miracle where others haven’t even looked yet.

Jesus would challenge the power structure, confront injustice, threaten systems of unearned privilege – and he would pay for his effort – but even in his failure he ignited a movement and cast a vision that inspires and challenges us still.

See his courage, his conviction, his conscience, his character…
Look past the clown on a clumsy colt and behold a prince on a prancing pony!
Dare to see possibilities, because what you see is what you get.

Jesus’ whole story is about finding God where others forget to look, remembering that there’s not a spot where God is not.
Jesus is born in a barn,
His mother’s husband is not his father,
His family were refugees in Egypt,
He sometimes (by his own testimony) had no place to lay his head,
He was arrested, tried, convicted, and executed for sedition,
Leaders of his own religion accused him of heresy,
He comes riding into town like a clown or a street performer on a ridiculous little donkey…
And in THAT life our religious forebears saw God.

If God shows up in that life, then God is present in every life…which means God is present to every situation, which means right here, today, no matter who we are, miracles are possible.

If we can see God in the Jesus story, we can see God anywhere, and if we can see God, we can experience God.
So our Reign of Christ scripture isn’t just about Jesus…it’s about life.

Don’t be afraid to try. Effort is empowering with or without success. Jesus failed to topple Rome, but gave a new vision for what the world could be, and that vision is compelling 2 millennia later. Thank God he made the effort.

Don’t be afraid of looking foolish. I had a cousin who wore a copper bracelet on his ankle…Swore it conquered arthritis pain. We laughed at him. But it worked for him, and he wasn’t going to let our chuckles keep him from his relief. Dag Hammarskjold said, “Never for the sake of tranquility deny the reality of your own experience.” Let’em laugh. Look ridiculous. And when you get the breakthrough, you can be the one laughing. And even if things don’t work out, how are you worse off for trying?

Don’t be afraid to see reasons for hope where others have not. If God is omnipresent, then hope is always reasonable. And even in failure, there will still be victory…even if Golgotha should happen, there will be resurrection. So dare to hope.

If we will dare to look for God in our circumstances, we are sure to find something amazing. Even a joker on a jack ass can prove to be a world changing miracle if we know what we’re looking for…and this is the good news! Amen.

There’s not a spot where God is not.
Today I will see and seize miracles.
Blessings abound.
Alleluia!
Amen.

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