Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christ the King Rocks!

Get out the balloons and whistles, ring a few bells and dance in the nave of your Church. Today is the feast of Christ the King. It began as an "in-house" political campaign by Catholics which has been taken up by many other Christian traditions who yearn for more ritual and rythym.

In an extended tweet to senior clerics Pius XI established the feast in 1925. Quas Primus is a bit of a quaint read in the 21st century with its regal overtones of the royal "We' and a woeful devotion to men as an adequate descriptor of the human race.

Pius XI made the cover of Time in 1933. He was shrewd politician who pulled off the Lateran Treaty and then took a few steps from the Vatican to St Peter's Square to begin a new age of the Church's engagement with the City Politic. There is a great bio available on the Mad Monarchist site. Enough of the Pope, let's get to the main act of the day.

The feast of Christ the King falls within days of our Governor -General backing a Republic, gay marriage and an ethic of care.Somehow a feast of Christ the President just doesn't capture the imagination does it? And "Hail Redeemer President Divine" wouldn't get into Songs of Praise. PS, doesn't that version rock!!

There are plenty of reflections for the feast if you want to do a Google search. I suggest this is a celebration for  music and what better image than a real monarch singing away to the "matchless king through all eternity"

Best read for the day is The Girardian  Lectionary

A general reflection on "Christ the King" Sunday: We don't often think in terms of kings or kingdoms anymore. The PC way of talking about it is to talk about a "Reign of Christ." But I'm not sure that catches it, either. In this democratic, capitalist age we don't talk about either kingdoms or reigns. Even "nation" is becoming less of an issue. What is it that we talk about the most these days when it comes to social constructs? Isn't it "culture"? Everything these days is about "culture," isn't it? So how about the "Culture of Christ" Sunday?

And then Girard's cultural anthropology, which is both generative and evangelical, promises tremendous insight. The generative aspect is quite unique. I get sick to death, frankly, of going to seminar after seminar in which there is so much babble about culture that amounts to little more than a cataloguing of characteristics. I am not aware of any other theories about culture that actually suggests how culture is generated, how it comes into being. That kind of depth of understanding about culture has been sorely and ironically lacking in this culture of ours which talks ad nauseam about culture.

And Girard's cultural anthropology is evangelical in that he puts the Cross of Christ exactly at the center of what reveals to us the generation of culture as founded in murder -- which is exactly what this Sunday can be about. In the cross of Christ we see both the revelation of how we found our culture and how God founds the divine culture offered to us in Christ. The latter is founded in Christ's giving himself up to the murder which founds our culture, at the same time that he forgives us for it.
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