Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011.11.20 King Sunday

When Dick and I were married 25 years ago we chose to have our marriage liturgy on a Sunday morning in the parish church where Dick was rector.

Ours was a second chance marriage. I had been on the search committee of my home parish when we elected Dick as our next rector. On paper he looked quite ordinary and I remember throwing his profile aside saying Let’s chuck this Simeoneee ( I pronounced it incorrectly) guy. Boring.”

I got outvoted because Dick’s profile had advertised his interest in doing youth ministry, the speciality of the former rector. I commented that they all said that, good marketing.

In the short run youth won out. In the long run so did love and eventual marriage. Going through divorces in a small town in a smaller parish was no picnic and neither of us would have opted for that if we’d seen alternatives. Both of our ex’s took their second chances too and are happily remarried.

I remember debating our day. We chose this Sunday called Chist the King, which 25 years ago was Nov. 23. The day marks the end of the Pentecost season and is the springboard into Advent, time to expect the new baby and begin the life cycle again.

Christ the King is a glory day, an all white day just like a marriage or Easter. Time for new life, for recognizing anew who really is in charge, and it’s not you. And time to know that in Christ we see the love of God lived out in the flesh and are supposed to try to follow the good example.

I don’t like royalty much but thought the day for our marriage would be OK since if Christ were sovereign of the cosmos then no one else could be—ever. We would be mutual marriage partners, no one on top, except of course........ :)

But I drew the line at the Diademata hymn—terrific triumphant music but all about kingship and completely and exclusively masculine language.

Jesus was a man and can keep his male pronouns but Christ is alive in an eternal spiritual way and can not be He, Him or His all the time. So I ruled out the crowns and the He’s and that hymn for our wedding day.

Today in church we sang that hymn and for every He that was clearly not referring to the life of Jesus on earth I sang Christ, a more neutral word, gender-free.

You don’t have to be a man to be a christ. Neither for that matter do you have to be a Christian to be a Christ.