Last Sunday Before Advent: Feast of Christ the King (Combo Post)

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Psalm(s):118, 145
Old Testament: Isaiah 19:19-25
New Testament: Romans 15:5-13
Gospel: Luke 9:11-27
Patristic Reading: Anexcerpt from a discourse on prayer by Origen

Wow! It’s been almost a year since I started this blog, and the Church once again prepares itself to contemplate the great mystery of the Incarnation, the payment of the Cross and the victory of the Empty Tomb. A victory that inaugurates the feast which we celebrate today.

The Feast of Christ the King (since renamed the Reign of Christ to remain gender neutral) is a time when the community of the faithful takes a collective breath. To recognize that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father and that the promises of God have been realized.

More than that, this is a celebration…..a rejoicing in hope…..not of what the world was….broken, dark and sinful……..but of what the world IS a creation made new…….a world where everything is made possible.

A world where segregation, hatred, and injustice are no more. Where Jew, Gentile, women, man, slave and free live as one…….but I’ll let a better preacher than myself take the lead here…..While his message is in the context of the civil rights movement, dreams are always bigger than we can ask or imagine.

The bright day of justice will emerge, all will live in the light….. and thanks to the love of Jesus we are set free at last, if only we drop our chains! +

Evening Prayer: Feb. 18th

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Psalm: 107:1-32
Gospel: Mark 12:28-34
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a treatise on First John by St. Augustine

Some wandered in desert wastes ,
finding no way to an inhabited town;
hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress (Ps. 107:4-6)

Some sat in darkness and in gloom,
prisoners in misery and in irons
,
for they had rebelled against the words of God,
and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
Their hearts were bowed down with hard labour;
they fell down, with no one to help.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress; (Ps. 107:10b-13)

Some were sick* through their sinful ways,
and because of their iniquities endured affliction;
They loathed any kind of food,
and they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress; (Ps. 107:17-19)

If we read Psalm 107 too quickly we tend to miss some of the subtleties here. While the Psalm as a whole is directed to the congregation of Israel. We actually have God showing up and reaching out to three different groups of people: the lost, the captive, and the sick. Hmmm where have I seen this before?????????

The thing with this passage is that God shows up to His people in spite of our bad behaviour and our tendency to stray away from the Father. The Father shows up anyway…. but why???

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

Let us take Luther’s mantra to heart….to believe the Word of God that tells of Jesus Christ our Saviour…..who came to make us whole through pure Grace and and to take comfort in the faith that all our sins are forgiven and that we have been made new. Alleluia!+

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