The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Reign of Christ (Readings for Nov. 25, 2007)

with 4 comments

Ah, sweet routine! I’ve been on semi-vacation for three weeks, and return to posting Sunday’s Scriptures today, eager to discover what’s there.  Included is one of the verses that thrill me most:  all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

Think along with me, and let me know what you find!

Reign of Christ; November 25, 2007
Luke 23:33-43; Colossians 1:11-20; Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 1:68-79

Luke 23:33-43
When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.

Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”

Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!” The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!” (Printed over him was a sign: this is the king of the jews.)

One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!” But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.” He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Colossians 1:11-20
9-12Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.

13-14God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.
Christ Holds It All Together
15-18We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

18-20He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Jeremiah 23:1-6
An Authentic David-Branch
1-4 “Doom to the shepherd-leaders who butcher and scatter my sheep!” God’s Decree. “So here is what I, God, Israel’s God, say to the shepherd-leaders who misled my people: ‘You’ve scattered my sheep. You’ve driven them off. You haven’t kept your eye on them. Well, let me tell you, I’m keeping my eye on you, keeping track of your criminal behavior. I’ll take over and gather what’s left of my sheep, gather them in from all the lands where I’ve driven them. I’ll bring them back where they belong, and they’ll recover and flourish. I’ll set shepherd-leaders over them who will take good care of them. They won’t live in fear or panic anymore. All the lost sheep rounded up!’ God’s Decree.”

5-6″Time’s coming”—God’s Decree—
“when I’ll establish a truly righteous David-Branch,
A ruler who knows how to rule justly.
He’ll make sure of justice and keep people united.
In his time Judah will be secure again
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name they’ll give him:
‘God-Who-Puts-Everything-Right.’

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Luke 1:68-79
67-79Then Zachariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he came and set his people free.
He set the power of salvation in the center of our lives,
and in the very house of David his servant,
Just as he promised long ago
through the preaching of his holy prophets:
Deliverance from our enemies
and every hateful hand;
Mercy to our fathers,
as he remembers to do what he said he’d do,
What he swore to our father Abraham—
a clean rescue from the enemy camp,
So we can worship him without a care in the world,
made holy before him as long as we live.

And you, my child, “Prophet of the Highest,”
will go ahead of the Master to prepare his ways,
Present the offer of salvation to his people,
the forgiveness of their sins.
Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness,
those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,
down the path of peace.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


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Written by Monte

November 19, 2007 at 3:34 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Naz U, you wouldn’t think Nazbollah was so funny if they were clearly making fun of you. Satire is one thing, but making fun of private citizens in a way they can be identified is a whole separate issue.

    Captain Peacock

    March 19, 2008 at 8:41 am

  2. Thanks for the reply! I wrote an article on your $$ topic. There is another blog that I have read that you may be interested in: http://nazbollah.blogspot.com It is full of satire and humor!

    The Naz U

    November 20, 2007 at 7:41 pm

  3. Monte–check out my blog, at http://discoveringthehope.blogspot.com — you’ll find an old picture my dad sent me, from BMC Pentacrest preaching!

    Jason

    Jason Miller

    November 19, 2007 at 11:32 pm

  4. Enjoy the humor!

    http://thenazareneu.blogspot.com

    Monte Says: Thanks, I’ll be stopping by!

    The Naz U

    November 19, 2007 at 5:11 pm


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