Two Announcements: 1) Grey Eagle UMC will have their annual Church Conference this coming Thursday, November 17, at 7:00 PM. 2) Peace United Church will have their Annual Meeting with a Potluck Dinner on Sunday, November 20, following worship.
This Sunday is "Christ the King" or "Reign of Christ" Sunday and is the end of the Church Year. Our readings are:
Jeremiah 23:1-6 - Pastors of congregations are often considered, metaphorically, to be the Shepherd of the church. (Old joke I have repeated a time or two: If Jesus is the Great Shepherd and the people in the churches are the sheep, then what does that make me? The sheep dog running around nipping at heels trying to keep everyone together. Ha!) In the Old Testament, the Kings of Israel were the Shepherds of the people. They were to protected them, feed them, and keep them together. Jeremiah warns the kings of his day that the Lord is not pleased with them because they have scattered the people and not attended to them. God will regather the people and raise up new shepherds to lead the people.
Luke 1:68-79 - This is the "Psalm" of the day. Actually, it is the prophesy of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptizer. When the boy was born and Zechariah, who could not speak, wrote down the name "John", Zechariah's voice returned and he spoke these words (according to Luke who is the only Gospel to have this story and was written 80+ years after John's birth). This prophecy is also known as the "Benedictus" which is Latin for the word "Blessed". Zechariah says that God will raise up a savior from the House of David and his Son John will be the prophet of and for the Most High God by preparing his way and "giving knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins." This will be our first reading on Sunday.
Colossians 1:11-20 - Paul prays to God that the church in Colossae will be made strong, endure everything with patience, while giving thanks to God who has rescued us from the power of darkness. In God's Son we have redemption and forgiveness. Paul then states that Jesus is the image of the "invisible God". All things, all creatures, all humans were created by Jesus who was before all thing and is now in all things. In Jesus, says Paul, the fullness of God dwelt. Therefore, when we behold Jesus (in scripture, in fellowship, in worship, in others) we see not just a part of God but we see the entirety of God. Sometime I think we want God to be something different than Jesus. But there God is: Jesus, hanging on a . . . .
Luke 23:33-43 - . . . cross. Behold your king! Stripped naked, flogged, beaten, and nailed to the cross. The Reign of Christ begins on the cross. Bow down and worship the King for from the cross he forgives us.
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor