This day we worship a king whose power came from. . . extreme weakness. Raymond Brown called this the “embodiment of truth.” In God's economy, to give life is to gain it. To receive the gift of membership in the kingdom through baptism is to become free from the need for power as the world knows it because God works through us. We are called to embody that truth which says I do not need the glory or the credit, God has already taken care of me.
This last Sunday of the church year . . . is a time of fresh starts and new perspectives. We are used to the idea of Jesus reigning in our hearts [but] . . . we struggle to let that reign have an effective reality in our world. It is uncomfortable to be counter-cultural, but that is the call of the Christian. Can we speak up in our churches, at least, and say. . . “Let's organize to take care of that autistic child on Sunday mornings so her parents can attend church.” Or, “Jesus and his family were refugees. How can we welcome immigrants?” –– Judith Simonson
In . . . the end time. . . the Son of Man. . . will be seated on his throne. . . The people will be separated by the enthroned one into two groups: sheep and goats. In an amazing twist, the enthroned one. . . is the one who was or was not visited, fed, clothed, welcomed by the people—the eventual sheep and goats. Those in need are the ones with whom Jesus most desired to spend time. In another amazing twist, often the wannabe sheep of the church today want to minister to the least in an effort to carry Jesus' love to those in need; but . . . Jesus himself is already there waiting to be found by us—“as you did it to one of the least of these … you did it to me.” –– Eric T. Meyers
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
The sheep, that is, the people of God, have experienced terrible days of “clouds and thick darkness” (v 12) and are scattered from their homeland (referring to the exile). YHWH comes to shepherd them back to their homeland. God will provide everything they need: good food, flowing waters, rest, and healing. God will favor the weak, lost, and injured but will punish those who use their authority for selfish gain. –– Eric T. Meyers
Those who have faith in the Lord Jesus, Christ the King, the writer of Ephesians tells us, face . . . a future so bright it is described as “the immeasurable greatness” and “glorious inheritance” and “power” for us who believe.
The belief that Jesus ascended to heaven and sits at the right hand of God is only possible by the power of God, the same God that indeed raised Jesus from the dead. And this resurrection power is what the writer of Ephesians says that we in the church, as children of the King, possess. –– Kelly Lyn Logue
Kelly Lyn Logue is pastor of Benson Memorial United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Eric T. Myers, a former church musician, is pastor of Frederick Presbyterian Church in Frederick, Maryland, and adjunct professor of worship at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Judith E. Simonson is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Homily Service 41, no. 4 (2008): 139-147.