Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost: Reign of Christ

& archive, Year C.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You call us to come
To be with you,
To hear your voice
To listen deeply to what you say,
To see what you do.
By your Spirit help me
To see you,
To hear your voice,
To follow you in all of life,
In the way of God’s gracious reality.
Amen

Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost: Reign of Christ

We have been on pilgrimage across the long season of Pentecost in this Lectionary year, the time for attending to how Jesus is now present to us in and through the Holy Spirit. It is also a time for tracing the narrative of Jesus through the gospels, and paying attention to how he, as Son of God, came among us:

To bring good news to the poor
To proclaim release to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To let the oppressed go free,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19)

In this last week of pilgrimage, we are invited to be aware of how Jesus is Christ the King. We are called to reflect again on what Jesus owned about himself and his ministry among us, what kind of king he was and is; how he reigns.

The reading for this week takes us to the cross. As you read and enter in to the Luke 23:32-43 passage, notice who is present: the two criminals who are also crucified alongside Jesus; the people standing by, watching; the leaders who scoff, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if He is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mock as they offer Jesus sour wine and taunt him: “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” making scorn of the sign nailed above his head, “This is the King of the Jews.” One of the criminals joins these ones who mock and deride Jesus as he hangs on the cross, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” Listen to the mockery. Wait and watch at the cross.

Finally, Jesus does speak – in response to a prayer spoken by the other criminal: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” This King, beaten, mocked, crowned with thorns, crucified, has chosen not to speak or to defend himself. He has given himself over to be put to death – for our sake, for the sake of the world, to rescue us from evil and the power of death. Such is his reign. With gentleness and reassurance Jesus replies to this man, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Taize chant, “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom” can be our prayer. Here is the King who knows each one who turns to him and who desires to enter into and live his gracious rule. None is forgotten. All are welcomed.

This is Christ the King: the One who brings good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Prayer before reading:

Lord Jesus Christ,
You come to us by your Holy Spirit.
Help me to welcome you,
To be with you as you indwell my life and being.
Help me to hear you,
To see as you see,
To turn to you in trust and faith,
And to learn to love you above all. Amen

Read slowly. Listen deeply. Indwell the scripture.

Scripture Guide:

TWENTY-SEVENTH WEEK AFTER PENTECOST: CHRIST THE KING
11/18 Monday: Luke 23:32-38
11/19 Tuesday: Luke 23:39-43
11/20 Wednesday: Psalm 46
11/21 Thursday: Colossians 1:11-20
11/22 Friday: Jeremiah 23:1-6
11/23 Saturday: Luke 23:32-38
11/24 Sunday: Luke 23:39-43