Christ the King Sunday – Epistle

by Crossings

Ephesians 1:15-23
Christ the King Sunday
Analysis by Steve Albertin


Step 1: Initial Diagnosis (External Problem) – “It’s a mad, mad world!”
Even though we do not live in the multiple-storied universe of the first century, we still must contend with a world that is under the control of rulers, authorities, powers and dominions. We would like to think we are free and in charge of our destiny. But then the chaotic, random and irrational nature of so much of life renders us victims and pawns of forces beyond our ken. It’s a mad, mad world out there!

Step 2: Advanced Diagnosis (Internal Problem) – “It’s enough to drive us mad!”
Not at all that unlike the syncretistic religious world of the first century, we live in a world in which there is no shortage religious spiritualisms. From various new-age-isms to self-help therapies, they all promise to solve our problems and give us the opportunity to control our lives and shape our destinies. If we would only give them our faith, if we would only give them our hearts, if we would only let them be our gods, then all would be well. But who do you believe? Which god do you rely on? Who do you trust when there are so many voices competing for our loyalty? Who can you count on when no one seems to deliver? It’s enough to drive us mad!

Step 3: Final Diagnosis (Eternal Problem) – “It’s divine madness!”
But what if the biblical tradition is right? What if there is more to this random madness than meets the eye? What if there is a God who is indeed the creator of heaven and earth? What if this God is ultimately in control and, after all is said and done and the curtain comes down on human history, this God is indeed the Lord of the universe? That is scary! That is terrifying? Why? Because the obvious madness that penetrates so much life, signals that this God is no beneficent deity but a God who is not pleased with the conduct of our lives and the foolish trust we have been all too willing to give to the rulers, authorities, powers and dominions of this world. The madness of this world and the madness haunting our own minds are certain signs of the “hidden God” venting his displeasure on our misplaced faith. Dare we say it? It’s not just that this world is mad. It’s not just that we are going mad. God is mad! This is a world under judgment. And we deserve it.


In the midst of the confused and random madness of this world, there is a way out, a way through it all, enlightenment for minds and lives that are going mad.

Step 4: Initial Prognosis (Eternal Solution) – “At the right hand”
Surprisingly, there is method in the madness and it comes from the very one who is mad at our world and us. God loves the world and overcomes his own madness and anger with our world and us by putting his power to work in Christ. Christ enters the madness of this world, succumbs not only to the rulers, authorities, powers and dominions of this world but also to God’s own madness and dies on the cross. But God raises him from the dead and seats him at his right hand in the heavenly places and thereby reveals to the world the triumph of his love and an end to the madness. The immeasurable greatness of his love is offered to the world.

Step 5: Advanced Prognosis (Internal Solution) – “In an enlightened heart”
Contrary to the confusing and maddening appearances of this world, all is not madness. There is hope and reason to believe in a future in which God’s love will have the last word. Through the power of Baptism and the proclamation of this good news, the eyes of our hearts are enlightened. We can at least see the method in the madness. We can finally know and believe in the goodness of God. We at last are rich, confident, hopeful and certain that the one behind the madness of this world is still, nevertheless, our Father.

Step 6: Final Prognosis (External Solution) – “Under the feet”
Christ’s victory over the madness of this world is cosmic. Christ is the head and through the church, his body, he puts the rulers, authorities, powers and dominions of this world under his feet and stomps on their madness. But ironically it is through the faithful lives of the saints and their gentle love for one another and the world that the madness of this world is subdued. It is in the church, the body of Christ in the world, where true wisdom is revealed. Here people do not despair but instead confidently pray and give thanks to God because there finally is a method in the madness. Christ has triumphed. (Christ is King!) He puts all things under his feet!


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