From the title of this post, you can see that we are a little bit of two minds about this Sunday. Of course, you may be of one mind about this and chaff at the fact that I have included the other title at all. But in fact there is much to say here. The whole biblical witness, from Creation through redemption and sanctification all converge here. It is no wonder we have so many different ideas about it.
The preacher who comes to this day will do well to remember this crucial difference between conservatives and liberals which I read not long ago again in an article by Mark Bauerlein in First Things. “Conservatives believe the past nourishes us and Liberal believe the future redeems us.” There is a lot to unpack there, but in a sense the preacher today acknowledges truth in both ideas. We are sustained by the first coming of Christ, His humble life, passion, death, and resurrection are the foundations upon which we build. But our eyes are always and also turned in the other direction as well. We are not content with the status quo, the endless progression of confess my sins, be absolved, rinse, and repeat. We long for the day when this cycle is broken. Unlike the liberals of today, however, we do not look for the radical change in our world to come from our own doing, but in the work of our returning Savior. Both impetuses have truth on this day. It is the end of the liturgical year and it is a day to look forward to the reign of Christ the king on that last day.