This week marks the end of the Christian Liturgical Year A. On Sunday, we will celebrate The Feast Day of Christ the King, a Holy Day added to the Christian calendar in 1925 by the Roman Catholic church at a time Mexican Christians were being told their ultimate allegiance belonged to their government. The imagery of Christ as a Shepherd King is one of a protector, who watches over his flock against those who would persecute them because of their loyalty to Christ. It is a strong reminder that Christ is Lord above and before all other commitments in this life.
This week’s comic is the final image for my Year B Liturgical calendar (you can still order them in my Etsy store). Each of the four images in my calendar this year feature a popular Charles Wesley hymn, and the characters from the comic acting out some goofy portion of the liturgical year. This is an image of the final season of Ordinary Time in the Christian year, a time when we remember that we are surrounded by all the saints who have gone before us.
Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling,” focuses on the misunderstood concept of Christian perfection (learn more about the hymn here). Put simply, if God is infinite, there is always more of God’s love and grace to experience. We can experience perfect love of God and neighbor in this life, and yet still always grow in love because divine love excels beyond human limits. The hymn concludes with the famous line: “Changed from glory into glory / till in heav’n we take our place / till we cast our crowns before thee / lost in wonder, love and praise.” This is Charles’ poetic translation of 2 Cor 3:18, which reads: “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Today’s image reflects the All Saints Icons in the Orthodox Church. The saints across time are grouped in kind around the empty Throne of Preparation, symbolizing Christ’s invisible authority over all. I’ll try to walk you through all the characters in the comic, with links to my favorite appearance of them in Wesley Bros Comics. If you get bored over the holidays, click on each name and read their comic!
Old School Saints (The right-hand side of the circle, top to bottom): St. Patrick, St. Irenaeus, The Ethiopian Eunuch, Tertullian, St. Basil the Great, St. Athanasius, Pelagius, St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Teresa of Avila, John Calvin, Martin Luther.
Post-Reformation Saints (the left-hand side of the circle, top to bottom): Pastor Burnesout, Richard & Reinhold Neibuhr, Phoebe Palmer (Invisible Girl), Peter Boehler, Jarena Lee, Richard Allen, Will Wilberforce, Phyllis Wheatley, “Black” Harry Hosier & Francis Asbury, Richard Hooker, William Joseph Seymour.
Liturgical Calendars are on sale and shipping now, but the supplies are limited, and the new Christian Year starts next week! https://www.etsy.com/shop/WesleyBrosComics