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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Christ the King: Someone to follow?

11/20/16






OK …two from the Internet: 

A picture of Michelle Obama holding a  sign that says : “An immigrant is taking my job”
The other a story saying the the Queen of England was  willing to take us back again. She says Your 240 year experiment  at Self Rule seemed like a good idea, but appears to not have turned out so well. We are willing to reassume responsibility. Only to will be direct by one of our children you like so well, no troublesome parliament in between. (Although a friend  pointed out that Great Britain’s had their issues with elections as well lately)

Today is Christ  the King Sunday. (I guess we don’t need to say Reign of Christ  Sunday anymore now that Donald Trump has been elected President.) By metaphor, this is the crowning of the year, the end of the church year.We are celebrating the ultimate dominion of Christ over all creation. Which sounds like a pretty good idea. 

The question for us is, who’s in charge? Or another question….remembering last week’s  quote from Catherine Feeny:
Something to empty 
Something to swallow 
Something to burn out 
Someone to follow

Do we have someone to follow? 
We have Interesting scriptures today…

Jeremiah gives us a warning…and a promise..
warning: 

Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! ( SO a word to incoming government Don’t send innocent immigrant children back to where they never have been before…)

And then the Promise:

he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: "The LORD is our righteousness.”

What are the key words? 
Wisely,… justice …. righteousness ..… safety.
Sounds like good qualities in a ruler..

As to Colossians: leaving aside theology…we have another prayer of promise…
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Do we have someone to follow? If Christ  is our King, what kind of king? AS if out of time, we have a holy week story in the midst of flourishing Christmas decorations..the story of the crucifixion of Jesus…

what do we see in this story?
bullying
mocking
political arrest
incarceration
violence
execution
religious authorities in league with the empire
and the refusal of good people to stand up..

How does this king respond? with  forgiveness….ready to welcome the condemned man beside him after that one’s  affirmation…

Today, when before our prayers we sing Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom s, we identify with that criminal..

What will we be called to? It isn’t clear yet. But we should Dietrich Bonhoeffer. And the Confessing church. Like them ,we are called to obey only Christ as ultimate authority. 

We are called to start figuring  out what we are called to be and do.
In a coming book world where a cartoon villain has been elected mayor of Gotham, We ALL are batman..we don’t need heroes or leaders, we only need each other. 

Thank you Leila

Something special from Pat for the table












First Reading Jeremiah 23:1-6

1Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. 2Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. 3Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.

5The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: "The LORD is our righteousness."


Second Reading Colossians 1:11-20

11May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers-all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

Gospel Luke 23:33-43

33When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!" 36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" 38There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."


39One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" 40But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." 42Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 43He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

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