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Christ the King
The Sunday Closest to November 23
Last Sunday After Pentecost: Christ the King Sunday
NOVEMBER 22, 2015
FIRST READING AND PSALM: OPTION #1
2 Samuel 23:1-7 (New Revised Standard Version):
Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, son of Jesse, the oracle of the man whom God exalted, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the favorite of the Strong One of Israel:
The spirit of the LORD speaks through me,
his word is upon my tongue.
The God of Israel has spoken,
the Rock of Israel has said to me:
One who rules over people justly,
ruling in the fear of God,
is like the light of morning,
like the sun rising on a cloudless morning,
gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.
Is not my house like this with God?
For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
ordered in all things and secure.
Will he not cause to prosper
all my help and my desire?
But the godless are all like thorns that are thrown away;
for they cannot be picked up with the hand;
to touch them one uses an iron bar
or the shaft of a spear.
And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot.
Psalm 132:1-3, (14-19) (1979 Book of Common Prayer):
1 LORD, remember David,
and all the hardships endured;
2 How he swore an oath to the LORD
and vowed a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 ”I will not come under the roof of my house,
nor climb up into my bed….”
14 For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he has desired her for his habitation:
15 ”This shall be my resting-place for ever;
here will I dwell, for I delight in her.
16 I will surely bless her provisions,
and satisfy her poor with bread.
17 I will clothe her priests with salvation,
and her faithful people will rejoice and sing.
18 There will I make the horn of David flourish;
I have prepared a lamp for my Anointed.
19 As for his enemies, I will clothe them with shame;
but as for him, his crown will shine.”
FIRST READING AND PSALM: OPTION #2
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 (Revised English Bible):
As I was looking,
thrones were set in place
and the Ancient in Years took his seat;
his robe was white as snow,
his hair like lamb’s wool.
His throne was flames of fire
and its wheels were blazing fire;
a river of fire flowed from his presence.
Thousands upon thousands served him
and myriads upon myriads were in attendance.
The court sat, and the books were opened.
I was watching in visions of the night and I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven; he approached the Ancient in Years and was presented to him. Sovereignty and glory and kingly power were given to him, so that all people and nations of every language should serve him; his sovereignty was to be an everlasting sovereignty which was not to pass away; and his kingly power was never to be destroyed.
Psalm 93 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):
1 The LORD is King;
he has put on splendid apparel;
the LORD has put on his apparel
and girded himself with strength.
2 He has made the whole world so sure
that it cannot be moved;
3 Ever since the world began, your throne has been estabished;
you are from everlasting.
4 The waters have lifted up, O LORD,
the waters have lifted up their voice;
the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.
5 Mightier than the sound of many waters,
mightier than the breakers of the sea,
mightier is the LORD who dwells on high.
6 Your testimonies are very sure,
and holiness adorns your house, O LORD,
Revelation 1:4b-8 (New Revised Standard Version):
Grace to you and peace from him who is and was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Look! He is coming with the clouds;
every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him;
and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wait.
So it is to be. Amen.
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
John 18:33-37 (New Revised Standard Version):
Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him,
Are you the King of the Jews?
Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?
I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?
My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.
Pilate asked him,
So you are a king?
You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Some Related Posts:
Proper 29, Year A:
Proper 29, Year B:
A Prayer for Humility:
God’s ways and those dominant in many societies contradict each other. Look around. Listen. Pay attention. Then consider the following:
- The first will be last and the last will be first.
- The person who serves is the greatest of all.
- The Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew
- The Beatitudes and Woes in the Gospel of Luke
- This Sunday’s readings from Revelation and John
This is Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday in the Western Church year. The next Sunday will inaugurate Advent, the time of preparation for Christmas. Already we read of the return of Christ, which is par for the course at this time in the Western Church year. Only God knows the details of the parousia, so do not believe anyone who claims to have worked them out. Unfortunately, such alleged experts have given books such as Daniel and Revelation a bad name among many Christians and others.
I have no obsession with matters eschatological, but neither do I find Daniel and Revelation frightening or intimidating. They are dense, but that fact creates a challenge. I can deal effectively with a challenge, or at least try to do so. My main task as a Christian, however, is to follow Jesus, not to fixate on the seven seals or the four horsemen of the apocalypse. I do not look forward to the end of the world. Rather, I seek to leave my corner of the world better than I found it. How can I function as a divine agent so that God’s order will become more evident in the world, or at least my corner of it? How can I, for example, help those who mourn to laugh, those who hunger to have their fill, those who weep to rejoice, and those who seek God to find God? How may I serve God most effectively and show Jesus to those whom I encounter? These are my responsibilities; prophesy conferences are irrelevant.
Published originally at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR