Death on the Arkansas River

Nov. 20th Sunday Readings

fc-white-water-raftingIn high school I went on a high adventure trip to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. We rode horses at 10,000 feet. We visited the Air Force Academy. It was an amazing trip. The highlight was when we went on a 2 day whitewater rafting down the Arkansas river.

Whitewater rafting on a seriously dangerous river like the Arkansas isn’t something one does on their own. We hired a outfitting company to rent us the rafts, supplies, and to provide guides for the river. We were assigned three expert guides all who knew the river well and seemed to know what they were doing at all times.

Before we left on our trip, we went over the rapids we would be rafting through; I literally thought I was going to die. Each rapid was rated based on the likelihood that you will survive if you were to fall overboard. A level 1 rapid is a timid little flutter of water that will barely soak your suit if you fall into it. A level 6 is almost certain death if you were to fall out of the boat. We had 2 level 5s and handful of 4s and 3s. The one that scared me the most was called “The Widow Maker.” So scared.

Yet, I was confident that we would all be okay. Why? I trusted my guide. When he yelled “Left side!!” The left side of the boat would paddle like crazy. When he told the right side to reverse, they would paddle backwards. When we were on the water, our guide was 100% in charge.

Have you ever had a time when someone was 100% in charge of your actions and decisions? Have you ever given someone else that kind of power?

Everyday we make hundreds of decisions. When I was in the raft on the Arkansas river, I gave up my own opinion of what to do in each situation to someone else who knew better what was best for me. In our lives, we have the opportunity to give power to Jesus, to make him king of our lives, because he knows what is best for us. If we really believe that God loves and wants what is best for us in every situation, why wouldn’t we let him rule our hearts?

This Sunday we celebrate Christ the King Sunday. We recognize and celebrate Jesus as king. And we do that with a gospel about his crucifixion. Why? First, Jesus is labeled king by the very men who killed him. Secondly, the very means of his death is the way that he conquered death. Jesus’ demise is his triumph. What looks like failure is in truth, victory – the victory of a conquering king.

Jesus desires the best for us more than even we do. He loves us more than we love ourselves. Jesus is the kind who conquered death and wants to give us life and live in abundance. Will we let him be our king?

One of my favorite songs is “King of My Heart” by Sara MacMillian. You can listen to it here.