Sermon, The Reign of Christ, November 20, 2022

Jeremiah 23:1-6; Canticle: 19a, The Song of Zechariah Luke 1:68-79; Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43

In the name of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.Members and friends of St. George, Wakefield, and St. Clements, Mapleton will gather for a joint Advent Lessons and Carols service on November 27, 2022 at St. George, Wakefield,8716 PTH#9 at 10:00 a.m. This is one of those moments when we celebrate the things we do well together, the ministries we share, the joy of belonging to such beautiful parishes, and share God’s love. Just come, and have a piece and be a part of it.

Do not miss a come and go Tea and Bakesale at St. Clements onSaturday, December 10, 2022, 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This is another opportunity to be with your friends. One other beautiful thing is the Christmas Pageant and Jesus’ Birthday led by St. Clements Sunday School on December 18, 2022, during the 11:15 a.m. worship service. Everyone will have a part to play,and you do not need practice except Sunday School folks.(Please note a change from December 11, 2022 to enable us recover from the excitement of the tea and bake sale.)

Today is the Reign of Christ/Christ the King, the last Sunday of the liturgical year C. King is one who pulls all together and symbol of unity, and mysticism of summing up and drawing together. Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32). Christ is one in whom all are united and all are drawn towards God. One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism.

Paul talks about Christ as the image of the invisible God in whom all beings and creation was made. One who is not next to anything. Christ, the manifestation of God into the world. One who holds all things together.

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. (Colossians 1:15-17)

Christ one who fought sin and won on the cross by forgiving those who crucified Him. He said, Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing(Luke 23:34). Christ gathered up all evil and transformed it into grace. Christ, the king of love that promised a convict a place in his kingdomwhen he pleaded for mercy. ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’ (Luke 23: 42-43)

We hold this ceremony of the sacrament of Holy Baptism inwhich we affirm membership of these boys into the fold of Christ’s flock. We baptize them in the name of the Father, Son,and Holy Spirit. Not in the name of grandma, grandpa, or great auntie shortie. We celebrate the triune of God who creates, redeems, and sanctifies. It not about the functional aspect of the trinity, but one God who is love.

We put a sign of the cross and mark them as Christ’s own forever. We give a candle to each one with expectation that they become the light of the world. And, we receive them into the household of God as we confess the faith of Christ crucified and proclaim his resurrection and share in his priesthood. Wow!

We commit these boys and ourselves to fighting through God’s self-emptying love that wins the world for God. Love that goes beyond the radicalism. Today, Allybob, Isaiah and Harrison are received into Christ’s flock, well-marked by the cross in token hereafter that they shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and shall fight under Christ’s banner against sin, the world and the devil and continue as Christ’s faithful soldier and servant until their life’s end.

Today, we rejoice that three more are added to the body of Christ, the Church in our parishes, new blood, great energy, and precious gifts. We have reason to celebrate as we continue to do good, and to preach the gospel to all nations beginning here. Let Christ the King reign in our lives as we go into the world to make disciples, baptize, equip, and teach, for He is with us, and better yet, Christ will remember us when he gets to his kingdom. Be blessed.