The other day I was talking online with a friend and we were trying to figure out who we should ask to help us with a project.
The reality is there are some really talented people we know who could make a difference, but it was a small project and we didn’t want a lot of folks.
So, we had to figure out who; who to ask?
And as we were talking, one of the things we noted, is that some of the folks we might ask might really be delighted to be asked!
You know being asked to do something cool, or something that really matters, can be quite a high honor, a kind of a lifetime attaboy.
Do you remember back to when teams were being picked in the classroom or in gym class?
Did it make you feel good to be chosen by a teacher to be on a team, or asked to participate by a coach or to go into the big game?
There is a commercial on TV about a softball game and the coach asks Derek to go in so they can win the game, and Derek gets up only to have the coach say, “no, the other Derek – Jeter”!
It’s a funny moment, but makes the point, being asked matters!
Like being asked to be the maid of honor or best man at a wedding.
Like being asked to be the godparent of a child being baptized.
Like being asked to speak at your child’s graduation.
Being asked to come to a church as a pastor is a pretty high honor, as is being asked to take over a position of responsibility at your place of work, or perhaps in a service club, or maybe even in your family if you are asked to be an executor of an estate, or to be a guardian of a child.
So, consider this bit of news as it is told to us in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, a city on the coast of what is modern day Turkey, a Greek community where Timothy to whom Paul later also writes, a bit of news that changes everything!
Especially when Paul says, to those Ephesians and to us, “God chose you”!
Think about that for a moment!
It ought to, if you are really thinking about it, both thrill you and terrify you.
God chose you!
Out of all the possible people that God could have chosen…
God has chosen you with all your talents and flaws…
With all your blessings and oddities…
To be one of his elect, one of his disciples, one of his emissaries in this world, an ambassador for his Son, a leader in the faith, one whom he has enlisted and entrusted with his church in this world.
I don’t know if you have ever seen the gatherings of world leaders where they all get together and have these big talks and then at the end have a group picture where some of the most amazing people in the world all try to fit in the space the camera can cover in one shot.
Imagine now that same picture with Jesus in the middle, and his original disciples, and a bunch of his most amazing followers – and you!
Because while you may not think of yourself that way – God does!
You are one of the elect!
You have been chosen!
And Paul says, “My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and you will understand the hope given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all God's people.”
God chose you, but remember, God has also blessed you!
And, to be honest, some of those blessings may not be money, or fame, or world renown.
Nope; because sometimes God’s blessings are the stuff that has made us humble, not haughty, loving, not manipulative, caring, not controlling, generous, not tight-fisted.
Some of the blessings are what we have come to understand, to whom we have now have entrusted our lives, the ways our rough edges have been shaved off so that when we love others, they don’t get injured by our brokenness.
So today, as we gather on what the church calls either Christ the King Sunday, or the Reign of Christ Sunday, understand that you are one of the Lord’s most important followers, servants, and representatives!
You everyday are living in order to represent the kingdom and the king!
So, what does that mean? What are we supposed to be doing?
Well, it means inviting others to follow Jesus, to be like Jesus.
We are invited to leave behind all the stuff that holds us back from caring, including our anxieties, our prejudices, even our own best interests to help others follow Jesus.
We aren’t building a kingdom.
There are those out there that seem to think that is the mission. No, we are rather helping to reveal it, a kingdom that is already here, one in which Christ is already the King, and in which some of us live.
A kingdom which values above all else the imprint of God, the image of God in every person we meet.
We have been invited to “so love the world” that we are willing lay down our own objectives so we can take up the calling of following Jesus.
For we acknowledge him to be the only King of Kings and Lord of Lords of this world, but one who rode humbly though the gates of Jerusalem on a donkey right into our hearts.
So, today we celebrate Jesus the King, God’s son, the Messiah, who has come to make all things right.
And to him may all praise and glory be given, the one who has chosen, of all the possible choices, you!