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November 2019

Nov

Allegiance to the Reign

Abiding in the Reign

Reign of Christ, Christ the King Sunday, Year C

These lectionary readings present quite the juxtaposition for Reign of Christ/Christ the King Sunday, which is the concluding week of the Christian liturgical year. When we think of Christ’s lordship, the Colossians 1 passage is an obvious choice, as it speaks to the preeminence of Jesus and his Lordship over all creation. At the same time, Christ is one who was crucified like a standard criminal, offering forgiveness up until his final breath. Put together, these scripture readings paint an image of Christ as our crucified God who reconciles the whole world to himself through his death and Resurrection.

Week 4 - Allegiance to the Reign

Luke 23:33-43

Fellowship – Snacks (10 minutes)

Gathering Time (5-10 minutes) In pairs or groups of three, have each participant finish the following sentence: “This group has helped me to understand . . . through . . .”

Read: Luke 23:33-43

  • Working as a group or in small micro-groups, summarize the different responses to Jesus’ crucifixion: crowd, leaders, soldiers, criminals, and anyone else.
  • What might Jesus’ response (vv. 34, 43) say about the nature of God’s kingdom/reign? [Values forgiveness, reconciliation, compassion; is full of promises, hope, and redemption]
  • In week 1, we named images from earthly kingdoms. From having done the prior three sessions and from other things you know, what are the predominate images of God’s kingdom or reign? [wooden cross, sacrifice, compassion, manger, humility, greatest are those who serve the most; and so on.] What might this contrast mean for Christians, whose primary citizenship is that of the coming kingdom/reign of God?
  • What difference does it make to believe that Jesus is the Messiah? Why is it important that your church invite others to experience Jesus as the Lord, Savior, Deliverer, and the One who Reigns over all of heaven and earth?
  • Why is it still shocking that the one we call King, Messiah, Christ, is also the one who died for the world?
  • Now having explored God’s kingdom/reign further, what new insights do you have about God’s kingdom/reign? What questions do you still have?
  • If your group is willing and has a good enough bond, have a dialogue about the following question: “Why might it be appropriate or inappropriate to display the flag of a country during a worship service?”

Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.

Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or similar prayer:

God of Heaven and Earth, your reign extends over all the earth. You reign in places where your will is done and even in places where people are experiencing pain and unjust conditions; we can still declare, “You reign.” Help that all that we say and do will become more and more a witness and declaration that you reign in our lives. Amen.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Books:

Kingdom of God: Its Meaning and Mandate by Joel Green (Bristol Books, 1989).

Websites:

Discipleship Ministries, umcdiscipleship.org

See All the People, seeallthepeople.org

In This Series...


Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Reign of Christ/Christ the King Sunday, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes