Jeremiah’s promise of the execution of “justice and righteousness in the land” finds ironic fulfillment in the execution of Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews. It appears utterly contradictory that a king should be crucified with a criminal. This victory appears for all the world as humiliating defeat. Yet through the gate of death Jesus opens the door to paradise.
Click on either the picture above or the following link to access the November 20, 2022 Live-Stream Worship Service:
The Lessons: (Link to the Readings)
First Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Today’s reading builds on the common, ancient Near Eastern metaphor of the king as shepherd. Judah’s unjust rulers have caused their people, their “flock,” to be scattered. Nevertheless, God will raise up a new and righteous shepherd who will rule a restored Judah.
Psalm: Psalm 46
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”(Psalm 46:10)
Second Reading: Colossians 1:11-20
An early Christian hymn praises the mystery of the political, personal, and mystical Christ, the one who was present at creation and is eternally reigning with God.
Gospel: Luke 23:33-43
Amid scoffing and slander from those who sarcastically call him Messiah and King, Jesus reveals that to be Messiah and King is to give one’s life for others. Here he uses his power to welcome a despised criminal to paradise but puts his own death into God’s hands.
O God, our true life, to serve you is freedom, and to know you is unending joy. We worship you, we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your great glory. Abide with us, reign in us, and make this world into a fit habitation for your divine majesty, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen