The Lessons Appointed for Use on the
Last Sunday after Pentecost
Christ the King
IN THIS MORNING’S FIRST
READING, GOD DENOUNCES THOSE RULERS WHO HAVE SO POORLY SHEPHERDED THE PEOPLE OF THAT THEY HAVE BECOME SCATTERED AND DISILUSIONED. GOD PROMISES TO ACT BY GATHERING THE FLOCK TOGETHER HIMSELF, AND GIVING THEM NEW SHEPHERDS, AND A JUST RULER FROM THE LINE OF KING DAVID. ISRAEL
FROM THE PROPHET JEREMIAH READING
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.
The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days
IN THIS MORNING’S SECOND READING, SAINT PAUL PRAYS THAT THE COLLOSSIANS MAY BE STRENGTHENED TO MEET WHATEVER IS TO COME, AND HE PRAISES JESUS AS THE VISIBLE LIKENESS OF THE INVISIBLE GOD, THROUGH WHOM ALL THINGS WERE CREATED. JESUS IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, AND THE SOURCE OF ITS LIFE AND MINISTRY.
READING FROM ’S LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS SAINT PAUL
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers– all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
- The presentation of Jesus (Chapters 1-4)
- The Ministry of Jesus to Israel (Chapters 4-16)
- The Journey of Jesus to Jerusalem and his death and resurrection (Chapters 16-28)
- There's the story of Jesus himself, from the time of his birth to his death and resurrection. Just as the life of Abraham Lincoln can be outlined by the great speeches he gave (The Lincoln-Douglass Debates, the Cooper-Union speech, The Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural), so may the story of Jesus be marked by his five great speeches: The Sermon on the Mount, The Missionary discourse, The Discourse in Parables, The Ecclesiological Discourse, and the Discourse about the End of Time.
- Then comes the story of the opponents of Jesus interlaced with the story of Jesus. These are the Jewish leaders who eventually form a united front against Jesus and his proclamation: Pharisees, Sadducees, Chief Priests, Elders and Scribes.
- Finally there is the third story-line of the disciples. These include the named Apostles, and the many other un-named disciples who follow Jesus.