Monday, November 17, 2014

It's the End of the Year As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)

My mom tells that when the doctor gave me a shot as an infant, I had a look of rage on my face as I cried.

The surprised physician exclaimed, "Boy, he gets mad!"

My parents used to tell this anecdote to me with the idea that I didn't just lie there and whimper at something happening to me.  They told me that I had spirit.

This became a part of my identity - an independent nature that resists perceived abuse (even when it was really good for me like inoculation).

Is this something that I was born with?  The story seems to indicate this.

Or has it developed and strengthened with the telling and re-telling?

I kind of think it might be both.  Our stories are a strong part of who we are and how we perceive ourselves.

For those strong, independent-minded people, how do we come to grips with the theological declaration, "Jesus Christ is Lord"?

A nurse vaccinates Barack Obama against H1N1.jpg
Even the President of the free world has to submit sometimes.  But it doesn't look like he likes it!
Can we really accept God's reign in our lives or does it only work when it fits with what we had in mind already?  Are we really shaped to become more Christ-like or do we subconsciously shape our image of God to become more acceptable to what we already believe?

The reign of Christ is something in which I believe.  It is something for which I strive. I've made it my life's work.  And yet, there is a strong sense of the self.  When my will is in conflict with Christ's will, how do we learn to submit?

Submission seems weak or even belittling.

But it might just be good for us - like getting a shot for protection from disease.  It's a little painful but the long-term gain outweighs the initial discomfort.

This Sunday is the final Sunday of the church calendar year.  It is often called the Reign of Christ Sunday or Christ the King Sunday.  At First United Methodist Church of Edmond, we'll be exploring the separation of the sheep from the goats in Matthew 25:31-46.  If you can't join us for worship, check out the sermon on the front page of the website.  It'll be posted a few days following.

In Christ,


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