This Sunday we will celebrate Christ the King. It is the last Sunday in the church’s liturgical calendar before the new year begins next Sunday with Advent. As the final Sunday of the church year, we are called upon to recognize Jesus as our Savior and Messiah, and the ultimate King of all creation. It focuses the church on the belief in and hope of Christ’s return to establish fully the Reign of God, while recognizing God’s claim on our daily lives as well. We may struggle a bit to understand the meaning of claiming Christ as our king, because it doesn’t fit our governmental structure as Americans, but we know and rely upon what it means to be held by God’s grace and to live within the realm of God’s love as demonstrated through the life death, resurrection, teachings and very real presence of Jesus Christ. It is a hopeful celebration in which we gather at the Lord’s Supper to recommit ourselves to the one who is sovereign overall. In times of insecurity, knowing God loves us and promises to be with us always is some of what it means to claim Christ as King.
The scripture readings for this Sunday are Psalm 46 and Luke 23:33-43. The Psalm is one of my favorites, calling upon God as our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. The Gospel reading is part of Luke’s account of Jesus’ crucifixion and his words of assurance from the cross. Please read them prayerfully to prepare your heart and mind for what the Spirit has in store for our worship. Let us rejoice in the love and grace of our God, as the Holy Spirit leads us in worship and celebration.
Pastor Chuck Goodman has been pastor at Hope for nearly ten years. He writes each week about what's on his mind, giving readers something to meditate on until and beyond Sunday.