One of the peculiarities of the Church Year is how it ends. We spend most of the summer and fall walking our way to Jerusalem. The last few weeks, as the rest of the world does this:
We find ourselves here:
Ultimately, our great New Years Eve festival, Christ the King Day (added to our Calendar in 1970!) brings us to the foot of the cross.
It is peculiar, to be sure, but I also find it very helpful that in Year C we make it all the way to the cross. It is, I think, a fitting way to close the book on a three year lectionary cycle because of just how counter-cultural it is. While the world is neck deep in the joy of the secular feast of Christmas, we are reminded that Jesus’ Incarnation, his ministry, his death, resurrection, and ascension are each a part of the much larger story of God’s Kingdom of Love being built on earth. We sit at the feet of Jesus, the King of the Jews, while he hangs in agony on a Roman torture device, but we know the fuller picture.
We know that life always defeats death. We know that love always conquers evil. We know that hope always overrides despair.