Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christ the King

Ethiopian "Christ in Majesty"

Another name for this day is "The Great Reign of God’s Justice". That makes us think, doesn't it?

I want to send you to the archives of the sadly now defunct magazine, The Witness for a reflection on today's lectionary readings. It's entitled "Justice for 'the Least of These,' Salvation for All" by Karen A. Keely I can't possibly do it justice with an excerpt so please do click through and read it all. It's not very long. Here's the paragraph that kept me reading, however:
In his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, he tells the story of his Baltimore slave mistress, Mrs. Sophia Auld, a woman who had earned her own living until she married and who had never had a slave until young Frederick came to live in her household. When he first meets her, she is the Christian ideal and would have been recognized as such by all of Douglass' readers. She prefers him to look her in the face, a bodily representation of equality that was a punishable offense in the slavery South, and she begins to teach him the alphabet until her husband forbids her to, warning her that teaching a slave to read is against the law and will only give him ideas that will render him unfit for the life of unquestioning service before him. Following the nineteenth-century womanly ideal of submission, she obeys her husband, and Douglass portrays this move, this first step in treating him as less than fully human, as the beginning of her descent from Christianity into hell.
The rest of the article explains how this happens to her. It's a tragedy and a cautionary tale all at once.

Come, Lord Jesus!

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