NOTE FROM PASTOR JR FOR NOVEMBER 20, 2022
This Sunday is “The Reign of Christ Sunday;” the last Sunday of the liturgical church year. It is also the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
For as long as I can remember one of the special hallmarks of Thanksgiving Day was the great feast, Thanksgiving dinner. As I read the lectionary scriptures assigned for this Sunday, I realized they were in fact a feast of sacred texts for a preacher. I wanted to use all of them. In the end, however, I chose to use the Gospel text (a portion of Luke 23,) for this Sunday before Thanksgiving.
It is that part of Luke’s account of the crucifixion featuring Jesus between 2 thieves. It seemed at first to be an odd passage to associate with “The Reign of Christ Sunday.” In the assigned text, 3 times Jesus is mocked with some version of “If you are the Messiah or King of the Jews, save Yourself.” Neither time does Jesus react. But we do get to see the importance of understanding “The Reign of Christ;” just not in a grand gesture like saving Himself from crucifixion. We see it rather in Jesus’ response to the thief who says to Him, “Jesus remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” (And) Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
It is as though Jesus is by example demonstrating that the most important thing to remember about “The Reign of Christ” is the assurance that God is with us always, always has been … always will be. We see that assurance repeated throughout scripture from Genesis through Revelations. In this season of Thanksgiving, let’s remember, be grateful, and give thanks for “The Reign of Christ” it is the assurance that God is with us now and always, no matter what. That’s a reason for “Thanksgiving!”
Join us Sunday in celebrating this good news, in-person, by Zoom or Facebook Livestream,” as my sermon is “Thanksgiving and The Reign of Christ,” based on “Luke 23:33-43”.