Last Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

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Title Sermon Date Liturgical Scripture
Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 February 13, 2013 Ash Wedneday Isaiah 58:1-12, Psalm 103, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany February 10, 2013 Last Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C Luke 9:28-36, II Corinthians 3:12-4:2
Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany February 3, 2013 Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C Jeremiah 1:4-10, Psalm 71:1-6, I Corinthians 13:1-13, Luke 4:21-30
Third Sunday after the Epiphany January 27, 2013 Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C Nehemiah 8:1-10, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a, Luke 4:14-21
Second Sunday after Epiphany January 20, 2013 Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
First Sunday after Epiphany January 13, 2013 First Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
The Feast of the Epiphany January 6, 2013 Epiphany, Year C Matthew 2:1-12
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2012 December 24, 2012 Christmas, Year C Luke 2:1-20
Third Sunday in Advent, Year C December 16, 2012 Third Sunday in Advent, Year C Luke 3:7-18, Philippians 4:4-7
Sermon, VTS, December 13, 2012 December 13, 2012 Daily Office, December 13, 2012 Psalm 145
Second Sunday in Advent, Year C December 9, 2012 Second Sunday of Advent, Year C Canticle 16, Song of Zechariah
First Sunday in Advent, Year C December 2, 2012 First Sunday of Advent, Year C Psalm 25:1-9; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36
Last Sunday after Pentecost, Year B November 25, 2012 Last Sunday after Pentecost, Year B Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, Revelation 1:4b-8, John 18:33-37
Proper 28, Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost November 18, 2012 Sermon, Proper 28, Year B Hebrews 10:11-14 (15-18) 19-25, Psalm 16
Proper 27, Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost November 11, 2012 Proper 27, Year B I Kings 17:8-16, Psalm 146, Hebrews 9:24-28, Mark 12:38-44

 

Last Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

Sermon Date:November 25, 2012

Scripture: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, Revelation 1:4b-8, John 18:33-37

Liturgy Calendar: Last Sunday after Pentecost, Year B


“He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.” 

Scene 1

The curtain opens.

The dark backdrop is spangled with brilliant stars and planets that sparkle with an otherworldly light. 

And then, as we watch,  two fiery thrones with wheels of burning fire are set in place.

And the Ancient One, dressed in splendid apparel, takes his throne.

The stage fills with thousands of attendants.

The court sits in judgment, the books open , and the trial begins.

But first, a human being coming with the clouds of heaven is presented to the Ancient One,

And to him is given dominion and glory and kingship—

And all people, nations, and languages will serve him. 

This king will never be destroyed, and he shall reign forever and ever.

The curtain closes.

Scene 2

The curtain opens.

The backdrop is the color of a pale yellow dawn.

An imposing seat is placed on a dais in the middle of the stage.

A Roman official steps  up onto the dais and takes his seat.

Several soldiers appear, leading a prisoner.

They place the prisoner in front of the Roman official and step aside.

Pilate peers down at the lone man standing in front of him.

This man has his back to us, but he carries himself with fearless strength and power.

“What have you done?”  Pilate asks the prisoner.

The prisoner answers. 

“My kingdom is not from this world.  If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.  But as it is, my kingdom is not from this world.  I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

The curtain closes.

Scene 3

The curtain opens.

A narrator appears on an empty stage with no backdrop.

“What did Jesus do?” the narrator asks.  

“He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.

He grew up in still another village, where he worked in a carpenter’s shop until he was 30.

Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.

He never wrote a book.

He never held an office.

He never had a family or owned a house.

He didn’t go to college.  He never travelled 200 miles from the place where he was born.

He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness.

He had no credentials but himself.

He was only 33 when public opinion turned against him.

His friends ran away.

He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.

He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.

While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth.

When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Twenty one centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race, the leader of humankind’s progress.

All the armies that ever marched,

All the navies that ever sailed,

All the parliaments that ever sat,

All the kings that ever reigned,

Put together have not affected the life of people on earth

As much as that

One Solitary Life.”

Jesus believed that the truth of God’s kingdom could become a reality here on earth.  The only authority Jesus had was God.  Jesus lived accordingly, loving and obeying God with his whole heart.

Jesus sought dignity and justice and peace for every human being in his time and for all time to come. 

One solitary life. 

The narrator leaves the stage. 

The curtain closes. 

Scene 4

The curtain opens.

The backdrop is a montage of scenes.   Scenes of powerful politicians and homeless children, scenes from suburbia, ads advertising flat screen TVs and holiday specials, scenes of war from the Middle East.  This jumble of images bombards the mind and  crowds the backdrop. 

We watch as a judgment seat is set in place at the center of the stage as the words of Revelation echo around us. 

“Look, he is coming with the clouds!”

Every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes to the earth will wail.”

And then we see this man– this king who will never be destroyed, the unbowed man who stood before Pilate, the man who has affected the life of every single person on earth—we see this man come and take his place on the judgment seat, and the books open.

Now we realize that each one of us will take a turn and stand before him. 

The narrator appears.

He quotes CS Lewis.  

“If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.  It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this world.” 

And then the one who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom of the priesthood of all believers, will judge each one of us with love and mercy. 

Where is your true kingdom, and who is your ultimate authority? 

Who is your truth and your life? 

Will you carry out what you promised to do in your baptismal covenant on your way through life? 

Will you seek Jesus and serve him in all people? 

Will you love your neighbors as yourself?

Will you work for justice and peace among all people? 

Will you respect the dignity of every human being? 

What will you do with your one solitary life? 

The curtain closes.    Amen. 

Resources:

“One Solitary Life,”  from Faith Confirmed:  Preparing for Confirmation, by Peter Jackson & Chris Wright.  Published in Great Britain by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1999. 

 “Witnessing to the Truth:  The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King,” pages 344-349, in  Lift Up Your Hearts:  Homilies and Reflections for the “B” Cycle, by James A. Wallace, CSsR; Robert P. Waznak, SS; and Guerric DeBona, OSB.  Mahwah, NJ:  Paulist Press, 2006.  

 

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