This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday of the Church Year. Notice the ways that Jesus is Lord and king in these readings.
The First Reading is recorded in Malachi 3:13-18. The first part of the reading is a complaint: what good does it do to serve the Lord when the wicked seem to prosper? That is a question we can ask today. Notice how the reading ends: The Lord is just and will set all things right: trust Him.
Lord God, like the people of Malachi’s day, we often see the wicked prosper and Your people in trouble. Open us up to the words recorded in Malachi, trusting in Your faithfulness to set all things right, trusting in You to keep us safe in Your hands. Amen.
Today’s psalm is Psalm 46. What a wonderful psalm of comfort and hope! Notice that the psalmist talks of trouble in life, but pay special attention to how the Lord is with us and leads us through the troubles of life; take heart and have hope that He is our refuge and fortress.
O God, our refuge, strength, and fortress, enable us to trust in You at all times, and especially as the world seems to be in turmoil around us. Keep us firm in faith, knowing You are with us, trusting You will not abandon us, and that we can always rely on You. In Jesus’ Name, Who is our victorious Lord, we pray. Amen.
The Second Reading is recorded in Colossians 1:13-20. Someone may ask: Who is Jesus? This passage from the apostle Paul clearly proclaims Who He is, and what He does through His death and resurrection. Read through the passage, taking special note of what it proclaims about Jesus. Then respond in praise and thanksgiving for Jesus!
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to You be all honor, glory, thanks and praise that You are our redeemer! Keep us firm in You, knowing in faith that You are our Lord and Savior. Amen.
The Gospel is recorded in Luke 23:27-43. On Christ the King Sunday we might expect a different Gospel, but this Gospel is fitting for this day because Jesus is the victorious Lord of all through His death on the cross and in His glorious resurrection on the third day. Through His death and resurrection, He conquers sin, death, and the devil. Let us keep our eyes fixed on our crucified and risen Lord!
Notice also the assurance that Jesus gave to the repentant thief: that he would be with Jesus in paradise. Either Jesus is wrong, or He is truly the One Who can bring about the things He says, He is truly the Lord; Jesus has redeemed the repentant thief, and He redeems us.
King Jesus, to You alone we look for forgiveness, redemption, and salvation. Keep before us Your cross and resurrection, and keep us in faith, knowing that through You alone we will be in paradise. Amen.