Reign of Christ – (November 20, 2016)
- First reading and Psalm
- Alternate First reading and Psalm
- Second reading
Colossians 1:11-20 | New Living Translation (NLT)
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
This week finishes up Year C of the church calendar. This Sunday is known either as Christ the King Sunday or Reign of Christ Sunday. Either way, we are reminded that Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of Lords. The text above is one of my favorites. It is even more so since I learned of the song “God of the Ages” which is included below. Colossians 1:15-20 is arguably an ancient hymn that Paul quotes. One of the things that I love about this passage is that Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ is supreme over all – He is the King. Jesus will reign forever. I’m reminded of the Isaac Watts’ hymn “Jesus Shall Reign.”
1 Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
does its successive journeys run,
his kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more.
2 To him shall endless prayer be made,
and praises throng to crown his head.
His name like sweet perfume shall rise
with every morning sacrifice.
3 People and realms of every tongue
dwell on his love with sweetest song,
and infant voices shall proclaim
their early blessings on his name.
4 Blessings abound where’er he reigns:
the prisoners leap to lose their chains,
the weary find eternal rest,
and all who suffer want are blest.
5 Let every creature rise and bring
the highest honors to our King,
angels descend with songs again,
and earth repeat the loud amen.
I think it is appropriate that we remember that Jesus is the forever reigning King, especially on this last Sunday of the church year and right before we start Advent. More on Advent next week.
I saw this posted on Facebook this week, and I think this sums up the text and what it means for us as believers:
If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God.”
Jesus Christ came to reconcile us to God and bring the world’s peace. If we are his followers, I believe that he has called us to do that as well. He has called us to reconcile the world to himself and he has called us to be his agents of peace.
I want to share two things this week. One is “God of the Ages.”
The second item is a video that I put together called “That’s My King.” It features S.M. Lockridge in a sermon preached many, many years ago.
Remember Jesus is the eternal king, and he reigns forever.