|Letters from the week of 23 - 29 November 2015
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Stirring Up Christ the King
Christ the King has its special message (and indeed I have dared to revise even further the 1931 Songs of Praise revision of the hymn "Crown him with many crowns" though I did sing the latter last Sunday.) But much older than this festival, and more authoritative in Australia and England, is "the Sunday next before Advent" - Stir-up Sunday with its old traditional associations. It is interesting that the Prayer Book on that Sunday has a passage from Jeremiah "for the Epistle" that speaks of God raising up "a righteous Branch" who "shall reign as a King and execute...justice". But interesting also that the appointed Gospel from S.John 6 ends just before verse 15 which says our Lord withdrew because the crowd wanted "to make him a king"! What do we make of that?
St John the Baptist's, Canberra ; Stephen's Uniting, Sydney
Campbelltown, NSW, Australia
23 November 2015
The feast of "Christ the King" may be a relatively new tradition, but the lesson for the Epistle on "Stir Up Sunday" [which many of us still call it in England at least - following the appeal in the BCP 1662 Collect and so the traditional day upon which to make and stir up your Christmas pudding] is Jeremiah 23.5 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign..."
St John the Baptist Devizes
Devizes, Wiltshire, UK
23 November 2015
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