This is a ‘day of dissonance’, according to Barbara Lundblad. Dissonant because everything we usually associate with ‘kings’ and ‘reigns’ – pomp, ceremony, fancy duds and hats and crowns, does not apply to the “Christ” of this Day. Christians have been faced with this paradoxical dilemma since the first days of resurrection: how to reconcile two seemingly contradictory statements about Jesus: He Died and was buried. He is Risen and alive for evermore. How is Jesus of Nazareth, to rule in 21st century Montreal? What might that reign look like? What trappings of monarchy will be his? What expectations will be overturned in us when we encounter Christ as King?
It’s tempting to end the year with a bang! Have a parade for the king of kings! But this year, Mark’s Gospel leads us not to triumph but to trial. Herein lies the paradox, which like all good paradoxes, should never be fully resolved, but simply lived. Come tomorrow to hear the choir sing an awesome anthem, Christus Paradox, and you’ll hear what I mean.