Reign of Christ C

Readings: Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 1:68-79; Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43

See also Reign of Christ A and Reign of Christ B resources

(Luke 23:33-43)
Often the Teacher
spoke about the kingdom of God,
near, even within:

a realm of the heart,
of relationship and worth,
human worth, not wealth;

a realm of good news,
hope, love, hospitality,
regard for the poor.

a realm that includes
care for the world around us –
a realm we can live.
(Source: Jeff Shrowder, 2016)

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23.42,43
Not another time and place, my child,
but here and now, today
you are with me in paradise.
In darkest times I give you my presence.
In deepest suffering I join you.
Paradise is not the world out there,
but our love shared
even through pain and terror, even death,
my love for you, my love in you, our oneness.

Jesus, remember me.
Make me again a member of your realm.
Make me part of your healing of the world.
Take me in.
I surrender to your absolute love.
Take me in.
In your hope for the world take me in.
Even in your suffering, take me in.
In your entering the pain of the world, take me in.
In your love, take me in.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” Luke 23.36-38
An unrecognizable Ruler, this one,
whose power is hidden in defeat,
who lives in the Land of Not-Oneself,
who knows the secret kingdom of grace
and its magical powers.

We didn’t expect this kind of Mighty One,
who walks through the machine of this death
and emerges, new and invisibly victorious,
without army or court or political victory,
whose throne is powerlessness,
whose palace is human suffering,
whose power is not domination
but to draw us into resurrection.

We still don’t quite get it,
chastened by our losses,
fearful of our destitution,
that this is the greater power,
Not-Ours, from the beyond within,
given, not seized, not even held,
not standing over us
but flowing through us;
that forgiveness is victory,
that giving life is life,
that love is actually immortal;
that even in this rough world
we are loved from beneath
to be of a different kind.

On our knees, stripped of our powers,
empty handed, we awaken
to this vast might, to our royalty,
and our waiting subjects.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

King Jesus
King of the Jews,
crown without jewels,
heavier to wear as you
hung up there on
a throne made of wood,
not of gold.

King with the heart
of a servant, a shepherd
with strength to match
any lion or thief in
the night.

King with no Queen, or
is she within?
Wisdom the Woman who
danced at creation, threw
open the welcome beyond
gates to the city
of choice.

King undefended, angel-
protected, the Tempter left
handed in the desert.

King of the Jews,
the Christ, our Messiah;
servant, alone, Holy
Three in your heart;
king of hearts, our
hearts, who follow your path
through the desert, who dance
at the banquet
with Wisdom.
(Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story, plus Soundcloud reading)

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About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon) in placement at Pilgrim Uniting Church, in Adelaide CBD (12 Flinders St). This blog is mainly to resource worship planners for our services, but of course may be useful for others. We have some great writers of music, words for hymns and liturgy at Pilgrim, so this blog also includes their words.
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