In today’s text, Paul invites Christ’s followers who seek to live faithfully while awaiting Christ’s return to give thanks to God. Paul prays that we may be made strong with all the strength that comes from God’s glorious power and be prepared to endure everything with patience. We need endurance to get through tough situations and circumstances, and we need patience to deal with challenging people who are part and parcel of these situations.

At times I avoid challenging circumstances and people out of fear that I lack the strength or energy to handle them. But God wants to strengthen me with wisdom and perseverance from God’s glorious power bank. I simply need to plug in and stay connected.

Paul calls us to give thanks because Christ enables us to share in his inheritance of the saints in the light. Darkness no longer holds or controls us because of Christ the King. Let us continue to walk in the light as redeemed and forgiven children of God.

In her 1971 song “Anticipation,” Carly Simon describes anticipation as that place in our minds that makes us “wait” eagerly as we look forward to a promised encounter. This week we acknowledged through our reading of Hebrew scriptures and New Testament texts our longing for and anticipation of the reign of Christ the King. We long for God’s glorious power and strength. We long for light to overcome our darkness. We long for an inheritance that includes redemption and forgiveness.

May we continue to anticipate eagerly the coming of Christ and the fulfillment of God’s kingdom. And as we wait, may we live in such a way that we help bring about God’s vision for all.

The word of God, for the people of God, thanks be to God.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 23:33-43

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Lectionary Week
November 18–24, 2019
Scripture Overview

Our readings for the week highlight the Reign of Christ. Jeremiah prophesies about a future King from the line of David who will bring justice, righteousness, and security for the people of God. Luke 1 records the song of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Zechariah praises God for raising up salvation from the house of David as God had promised through the prophets. This child will bring mercy, forgiveness, and light. Luke 23 recounts part of the story of the death of Jesus. Here Jesus, the Light of the world, dies as an act of mercy for our forgiveness. In Colossians, Christ holds first place above everything else. Through his death we are forgiven and brought from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Jeremiah 23:1-6. How do you trust in God’s promises to bring safety and justice as you watch unjust rulers oppress and abandon their followers?
Read Luke 1:68-79. What will you say when you break your silence?
Read Colossians 1:11-20. Recall a time when you waited for something in great anticipation. How did your faith help you find patience?
Read Luke 23:33-43. How do you recognize Christ as King when you experience or witness suffering?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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