Nov 26

How Christ Reigns

This morning we get a glimpse of the glory of the reign of Christ that is still to come: Christ the king, who gathers all people before his throne to judge them. The judgment is a sober, eternal affair: blessing and the kingdom for those the king judges well; cursing and eternal punishment for those the judge condemns. The eyes of all creation focus on the judgment; even the angels attend the dread day. This is how Christ reigns on that day, this is how Christ will judge between the blessed and the cursed: did you feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, take care of the sick, and visit the imprisoned? If yes, you are blessed; if no, then you will be cursed. Continue reading

Nov 21

The Kingdom Commission

In Luke’s gospel, the two of the last sentences uttered by Jesus from the cross are undeserved words of mercy. For the soldiers who have nailed him to the tree and the leaders who have conspired against him and mocked him, Jesus prays for forgiveness: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And for the criminal—villain, really, is what the Greek word means—Jesus promises, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” His whole life Jesus has preached good news to the poor, release to the captives, and love for neighbor and enemy alike; here, on the cross, in excruciating agony, Christ remains faithful to his preaching, to the life he has dedicated to the kingdom of God. Mercy is Christ’s final word before death. Mercy is Christ’s word to us this morning. Continue reading