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Today is the feast of Christ the King
“Most of us understandably start the journey assuming that God is “up there,” and our job is to transcend this world to find “him.” We spend so much time trying to get “up there,” we miss that God’s big leap in Jesus was to come “down here.” So much of our worship and religious effort is the spiritual equivalent of trying to go up what has become the down escalator. I suspect that the “up there” mentality is the way most people’s spiritual search has to start. But once the real inner journey begins—once you come to know that in Christ, God is forever overcoming the gap between human and divine—the Christian path becomes less about climbing and performance, and more about descending, letting go, and unlearning. Knowing and loving Jesus is largely about becoming fully human, wounds and all, instead of ascending spiritually or thinking we can remain unwounded. The ego does not like this fundamental switch at all, so we keep returning to some kind of performance principle, trying to climb out of this messy incarnation instead of learning from it.”
This icon depicts Christ the King. The Greek letters in his halo signify “I am who I am,” God and human. Christ bridges time and eternity.
Six-winged seraphim surround Christ’s throne, and Ezechial’s winged beasts emerge from the four directions, now representing the four evangelists. All except for Christ are painted as though transparent, to emphasize that they are spirits. Christ is painted with bold colors, because he is human.
Misguided emphasis has sometimes led Christians to condemn the material world. This world of ours is called to inconceivable glory, however -- both because it was created by God, but also because it was assumed into God’s very person. Because of Christ, there is no thing nor any person in this world that does not command our respect.
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