Let us then lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.” From St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. Today marks the first Sunday in Advent. The theme of the coming of the Day of the Lord, or the advent of the Lord to judge the living and the dead is a constant in our teaching of the Gospel. Jesus describes it in the context of the great flood in the days of Noah. No one expected the flood that would destroy the world, despite the warnings of Noah. They ate and drank, got married, and generally lived without a care in the world. They never expected the flood. This event, the flood and Noah’s ark, are a kind of pre-figuring of the day of judgement.
This is the King of the Jews, from the Gospel of St. Luke Today is what is known as Christ the King Sunday. It is also the last Sunday of the Church year, as next week Advent begins. Today we celebrate the Kingship of our Lord Jesus, who ascended into heaven and is seated on the right hand of the Father, as we say in the Nicene Creed. We Americans do not have much experience with Kings and Royalty and such. We know that 240 years ago we declared our independence from then King of England, George III. However, In England, home of our ancestral Church, royalty goes way back. It’s a concept that is engrained in their culture.
Let the rivers clap their hands, * and let the hills ring out with joy before the LORD, when he comes to judge the earth. In righteousness shall he judge the world * and the peoples with equity. From Psalm 98. As we begin to wrap up the church year, the theme of our readings from Holy Scripture returns to the Last Day, or Judgement Day, as I have spoken about before. The Psalmist looks forward to this day with great joy. Sing to the Lord a new song, he writes, for he has done marvelous things. There is a sound of victory, and a lot of shouting, too! Even the seas and the rivers make lots of noise. No one will sleep on this day.