Hello Everyone and Happy Thanksgiving,
We have two sets of readings this week, one for Thanksgiving and one for Reign of Christ (or Christ the King) Sunday.
Joel 2:21-27 – God promises abundance after years of drought and famine. Do we give thanks to God in times of trouble and having faith that God will provide?
Psalm 126 – This is both a psalm of thanksgiving for the restored fortunes of the people (verses 1-3) and a petition to God for that restoration (verses 4-6). Do we thank God for a restoration that may happen in the future?
1 Timothy 2:1-7 – Paul urges Timothy to engage in four kinds of prayer: supplication, prayer, intercession, and thanksgiving, to be lifted up for all people. Perhaps they are all one in the same. A prayer of supplication (asking for a need to be met) should also be a prayer of thanksgiving (for what has already been given). Tim should also pray for kings and rulers so that believers may live in peace and quiet. Who do you pray for? What do you pray for? Does prayer need to be about something?
Matthew 6:25-33 – This is a small part of the much longer Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Jesus’ instruction is to not worry about what to eat, what to wear, or for anything else. If God provides for birds and lilies then God will provide for us. Why do you think the Lectionary Committee chose a text about worry for Thanksgiving? Upon what or who should our lives be focused?
Reign of Christ Sunday
2 Samuel 23:1-7 – These are supposed to be the final words of David as he reflects on what God has done for Israel through him. I say “supposed” because 2 Samuel records other things that David did and ordered. A good question to reflect on is “What is God doing through me for others?”
Psalm 132:1-12 (13-18) – The psalmist asks God to remember all that David endured and how David served God. In verses 11-12 the psalmist remembers God’s promise to keep a descendent of David’s on the throne if they faithfully keep their covenant. Are our children supposed to keep the covenants we make or do the covenants need to be ratified with each generation?
Daniel 7:9-10 – In this vision, Daniel witnesses an Ancient One (with lots of grey hair) take its place on a throne of fire. (The throne had wheels of fire. Did the Old One need a wheel chair?) One hundred million creatures stood at attention while one million creatures served him. Then the books were opened.
Psalm 93 – God, who created all, is the ruler of all and all of creation (the floods) shout out (or witness to) that fact. How does our lives witness to God grace and glory?
Revelation 1:4b-8 – This is part of the greeting to the seven churches John writes as he begin sharing the vision he has had. He asks for grace for the churches from God (who was and is and is to come) and from Christ who saves us. God is the beginning and the end. What does this flowery language say to you?
John 18:33-37 – The Lectionary Committee leaves off a key verse, #38, “Pilate asked Jesus, ‘What is truth?’”. Pilate asks Jesus if he was a king. Being a king in the Roman Empire was not a capital offense as there were many puppet kings that served the Emperor. Being a king that would usurp the Emperor was, however. Jesus declares that his kingdom was something entirely different but Jesus never says he is a king. Jesus’ life had one purpose: to testify to the truth! So, what is that truth? Or, like Pilate, what is truth?
May the God who blesses us in all that we do, bless you with our readings this week. Praise be to God, who was and is and is to come!
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor