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Christ the King Sunday

Christ the King Sunday

One sinner addresses another sinner.  Both are condemned to death.  Both are guilty of the accusations leveled against them and will justly die.  One mocks Jesus and seeks to avoid the just punishment meted out upon him.  The other accepts the justice of his impending execution and, rather than mock Jesus, he pleads to be remembered by Jesus.  This criminal, acknowledging his guilt and punishment, becomes a preacher to the other criminal who seeks to avoid punishment for the guilt of his sins.  The one becomes a preacher to the other, “Do you not fear God…?”  As Martin Luther reminds us in his giving meaning to the First Commandment: “We are to fear, love, and trust God above all things.”  These three are mutually inclusive emotions, absolutely—absolutely because each of the three must be total—that is, if we have no absolute love of God, there is neither fear nor trust… –that is, if we have no absolute trust of God, there is neither fear nor love… –that is, if we have no absolute fear of God, there is neither love nor trust.  All sinners, including you and I, fall under the same sentence of condemnation: “You shall surely die!”  Even Jesus Christ who takes away the sin of the world comes under that death sentence applied to all mortals.  And there… there on the cross where humanity carried out the death sentence upon him… there, he was enthroned as Christ the King!

Prayers from one who hates drinking from the cup that is set before him… and who abhors his King enthroned on the cross…

Father, you sent your Son as your love to the world, grant me to hear that he died on the cross for me because I wanted him dead.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Father, you sent your Son as your love to the world, grant me to hear that his death on the cross for me announces my election to eternal life to me.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Father, you sent your Son as your love to the world, grant me to hear that his drinking of the cup of crucifixion for me was on my behalf and for my benefit.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Father, you sent your Son as your love to the world, grant me to hear that he died on the cross for me so that he could come again and take me to where he is.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Father, you sent your Son as your love to the world, grant me to hear that his enthronement on the cross for me was his only glory in this world and, since he died in my place, will be my only glory as well.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Father, you sent your Son as your love to the world, grant me to hear that his death on the cross for me satisfied the wrath of God by taking away the sin of the world. Merciful Father, hear my prayer.

Father, you sent your Son as your love to the world, grant me to hear that he died in this creation for me so that I would live in the new creation with him.  Merciful Father, hear my prayer.  Amen