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Working slowly back to the land of the living

by davesandel on November 21st, 2021

Sunday, November 21, 2021                          (today’s lectionary)

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

Working slowly back to the land of the living

As my visions of the night continued, I saw one like a Son of man coming on clouds of heaven.

Sleep. In the night dreams I lose track of Margaret and Andi in some coarse city, and I’m alone and so are they, and I don’t know what to do. When I wake all is quiet, and I join in, although not for long. I am listening to The Diary of a Country Priest. The narrator’s nearly hypnotic voice reminds me to breathe, and rest, and that there is never any hurry.

Still. I find myself sorting through my endless unnecessaries with more urgency than I usually feel. Mom died so quickly, shouldn’t I be getting ready myself? All this clutter around my bed, and in my closet, and in every corner of every house I inhabit … sometimes I get too anxious when I think how I want to get things straight. There’s a name for that, I’m sure, and a treatment, and a code from the DSM V to give the insurance company.

This mousetrail, this confusion of possessions follows impossibly right alongside relationships with so many people that I love, have loved, and will love. As Wendell Berry’s character Nathan Coulter told his wife, “I want to go right on living until I die.”  And the mousetrail also follows right along today’s “solemnity,” honoring Jesus Christ King of the Universe. “What have you done?” Pilate asked Jesus.

The one like a Son of man received dominion, glory, and kingship; all peoples, nations and languages serve him.

What have I done? Healed the sick, cured the lame, preached and prayed and now there is an alternative to the numbness of being a peasant in the Roman Empire. What have I done, Jesus says. Turned my Father’s world upside down and invited you, Pilate (and you, David), into our new Kingdom of heaven, where all of us are free to be God’s children, just the way he made us. What have I done? Loved my Father, and your Father too, and showed you how. This is not poetry, this is more real than the Roman legion.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.

What will I do? Look at the picture of Jesus and Pilate in the linked article. Jesus stands without resistance in the bonds of the jailer, in the silent, ugly grasp of the Hebrew haters, a shadow self, waiting. There is no hurry. Come, he says. Look through me and see who you are, and see your Father who loves you. You cannot imagine the strength of his love, but you can feel it. You can open your arms and your heart, and let it warm your soul.

I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.

My box of goodies for Salt and Light, our favorite thrift shop, piles up a little higher. The many people I love, including some of whom I’ll get to see this week, are going about their own business on this Sunday. Some of them are worshipping you, Jesus, some of them are enjoying your sabbath, listening for your steps on the stair and your knock on the door. They are walking over from the hearth, and letting you in. Me too, Jesus. The fire is warm, and the tea is hot. Please, come in, sit and eat with me.

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness. Behold, he is coming from amidst the clouds, and every eye will see him. Yes, to the one who is and who was and who is to come. Amen.


(Daniel 7, Psalm 93, Revelation 1, Mark 11, John 18)

(posted at


Working slowly back to the land of the living

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