Weekly Lessons and Sermon
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be always
acceptable in your sight, oh Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen.
acceptable in your sight, oh Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen.
Today is the last Sunday of the church year.
Next Sunday, Marks the first Sunday of Advent: The Church New year:
And the time of waiting and preparation for Christmas.
Yet even before that season of waiting for the celebration of the birth of Christ:
Even before we begin to sing about Jesus laying in a manger:
We celebrate and rejoice in Christ the King.
Today is known as “Christ the King” Sunday.
We celebrate Christ as the King of all creation.
The king of everything.
The king of everyone.
Not long ago,
I told you about my sweet one room school house Sunday School in Connecticut.
I shared with you about the kids who literally “Schooled” me—their
teacher—when they asked for a giant piece of paper and wrote “God loves
everyone the same” at the top.
It turns out, that those kids—over a decade ago--
Gave me a lot of good sermon material!
That same group of kids that said “God loves everyone the same”
Was also learning about Christ the king Sunday many, many, years ago.
As their Sunday school teacher, I was explaining to them that Christ is our King.
Each of the kids made their own crowns—in order to show that because of Christ
We too: become a part of the royal family:
The royal family of Christ the King.
After church on that Sunday, one four year old girl was showing off her crown.
I asked her: “Can you tell our friends why you made that crown today?”
She looked up at me, eyes beaming, and in the most excited four year old voice
“Because Jesus is our Prince! And I’m one of his princesses!”
I was hoping that she would say that Jesus is our King:
Because that’s what I tried to teach the children.
But I couldn’t help being pleased with the mere fact that she was so happy and
excited to boldly proclaim Jesus as her prince.
And in a way: she’s quite right.
After all: During the Christmas season: we’ll hear a lot about “The Prince of
Jesus IS our prince.
And not just at Christmas.
Jesus is always our prince, and always has been.
The birth of Jesus in the manger is not even the beginning of the story.
Which is why we celebrate Christ the King Sunday today:
On the last Sunday of the church year.
Because Jesus has been our king—our prince: all along.
Even before the creation of the world.
In today’s Gospel lesson Jesus says: “Come, you that are blessed by my Father:
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
INHERIT the KINGDOM:
Prepared for YOU.
Even before creation.
Christ the KING:
Has prepared a place for you:
Christ became human:
So that we could become divine.
That little girl was right:
She is a princess of God:
A child of God--
And we all are.
That’s why the creator became human:
So that the little girl could truly be Jesus’ princess.
So that all of us could be a part of the heavenly royal family.
And so today, after the sermon,
I’d like us to renew our baptismal covenant.
All of us: together:
As we say it, We support one another as part of Christ’s royal family:
As those who will inherit the kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the
We will promise to ask for forgiveness when we make mistakes:
which we are sure to do.
We will promise to proclaim the Good News of Christ the King.
And: We will promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons: loving our neighbors
This promise: in the baptismal covenant:
Is EXACTLY what Jesus is talking about in today’s Gospel story.
Jesus tells us to feed the hungry:
To welcome the stranger:
To clothe the naked:
To take care for the sick:
To visit the imprisoned.
And he’s pretty clear: that in doing those things:
we not only serve those in need.
But we serve Christ himself.
Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are
members of my family, you did it to me.”
This is what it means to seek and serve Christ in ALL people.
How we treat others: who are members of Jesus’ family:
Is how we ultimately treat Jesus.
And if we remember:
If remember that Christ is the King of all creation:
That Christ has prepared a kingdom from the foundation of the world:
Christ made a place: before anyone: ANYONE was born.
Then he must have made that place for EVERYONE.
EVERY HUMAN BEING is a part of Jesus’ family.
Because Jesus is the King of everything.
Because God loves everyone the same.
There’s also that final question in the baptismal covenant:
Which asks “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect
the dignity of every human being?”
It does not say some people.
Or some human beings.
But ALL PEOPLE.
Because Everyone is a member of Jesus’ family:
And whatever we do to the least of these who are members of Jesus family: we
do it to him.
We celebrate being a part of that royal family:
Created for us:
And created for all:
Before we were born:
Before our ancestors were born:
Before this very earth was even in existence.
All thanks to Christ the King.
Happy Birthday to Charlie Johnson, Dave Nelson, Mike Sperger and Duey Stelzner
Parish Christmas Party 12/10 after the serivce.
~bring a $5 wrapped gift for Christmas BINGO!
Blue Christmas Service 12/20 at 6 pm
Christmas Eve Service at 4 pm (no morning service)
Today we get to talk about money again!!
Which is hard, because it’s something we don’t really like to talk about.
Whether we have a lot, or a little, we tend to keep our money close,
And we tend to keep our money secret.
But today, we’ve got to talk about it.
Today we hear yet another story from Jesus:
A story about Christ’s second coming:
About being ready, and prepared:
But it also includes MONEY.
In the story, a man goes on a journey:
And gives his slaves his money--
To keep it safe, and to invest it until the man returns at some unknown time.
This man didn’t just give his slaves a few coins.
He gave them “talents”
A talent: is thought to be a large sum of money:
Worth more than 15 years of wages for a laborer.
This is a lot of money.
Imagine being those slaves:
Getting hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep safe.
To one slave the man gave five talents: 75 years worth of wages.
To another he gave two: 30 years worth of wages.
And to a third slave, he gave one talent: still 15 years worth of wages.
The man was entrusting his money and property to these slaves while he was away.
The two slaves who were given five and 2 talents,
made more money out of what the man had given them.
They “Invested” it in some way.
But the slave with one talent, buried the talent in the ground:
and hid the money.
Some might say that this slave used the best method of security:
Burying the money in the ground, so it would not be lost.
When the owner returns, however, we see his anger.
That this particular slave, responded out of fear--
He was afraid:
Unwilling to take a risk: by burying his money in the ground.
I am not suggesting that everyone should invest all of their money.
Because that’s not what this story is about.
This story: is about positive action:
Responding to our responsibilities positively:
Rather than out of fear:
Rather than Out of negativity:
Or Rather than just doing nothing--
Burying what we have in the ground.
This story is about growing in our abundance when we live in Positive action.
As the master says at the end of the story: “For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance;
But from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”
We need not get hung up on that second part:
Because there is NO ONE who has absolutely nothing.
Everyone has SOMETHING:
But will the response be one of positive action?
Or fearful burying?
This story is about Acting Positively:
And it is where we get the word “talent” in our modern usage.
As in: to share our gifts and “talents”
Our “natural abilities”
The things we are good at, the things that we have been blessed with:
Is the same word used in this story, for a large sum of money.
In this month of November:
We have a heightened awareness of our money:
As the holiday season begins:
And all of the bargains for Christmas presents are already beginning.
But in this month of November,
We also have a heightened awareness of gratitude and thanksgiving.
Often: when we are grateful for what we have:
We put it to good use.
We don’t bury our gratitude in the ground.
We use our blessings:
We use our talents:
And we share them with the world.
I taught this, just this week with our girl scout troop.
We were learning about gratitude.
And how when we’re thankful:
We give more of ourselves as a way of saying thanks.
Our first and second grade girl scouts explored the things they were thankful for: and then we made treats to share with the teachers and staff at their school, as a way of saying thank you: For all they have given us.
We don’t bury our gratitude in the ground.
We use our blessings, and our talents,
And we share them with the world.
And this includes money.
But that’s sometimes harder.
We are fairly “okay” with sharing our “gifts and talents” with one another, and with our communities.
But sometimes sharing our money is a bit harder.
Because it’s scary.
We can live in fear: like the slave who buried the money.
Or we can respond positively:
By sharing what we have--
Including our money:
Because giving is really about how we say “thank you.”
It’s about responding out of positive gratitude for all that God has given us.
It’s also about sharing in relationship to what we have.
And all of us are different.
This is why, the man who went on a journey,
Gave talents to the slaves to “each according to his ability.”
We don’t all give the same amount:
Because we don’t all have the same amount.
And that’s okay:
As long as we respond in positive gratitude for what we DO Have.
Because we DO all have SOMETHING.
What do you have?
What is your ability?
What blessing can you give,
Out of the blessings that you have received?
The parable of the talents is not just about money.
But about remembering that we all have something to give.
Give according to your ability.
And give it joyfully.
Celebrating Birthdays: Jan Peske, Marian Becker and George Metko
See you Thanksgiving Eve for the Community Service at 6:30 pm.
Announcements: Thank you Fr. Wilson for joining us today. Celebrate and give thanks with us on Wednesday, November 22 at 6:30pm during the Ecumenical Thanksgiving eve Service and pie social to follow. Prayers for Pat and Corrie who will be having surgery this week.
Today we celebrate one of the Principal feasts in the Episcopal church.
We only have SEVEN principal feasts.
(Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, All Saints’ Day, Christmas
Day, and the Epiphany).
And today’s feast:
The feast of All Saint’s day:
Is the ONLY one that isn’t about the triune God.
It’s not a day that celebrates something significant about Jesus (like
Christmas, Epiphany, or Ascension.)
It’s not a day that celebrates the holy spirit (Like Trinity Sunday)
And it’s not a day that celebrates the fullness of the triune God (like Trinity
All Saints day is the only principal feast that’s about mortal PEOPLE.
All Saints day where we recall the faithful servants of God:
Both living and departed:
And we profess that somehow,
We are mysteriously bound together with them across time and space
through our common spiritual heritage.
All Saints’ day is like reflecting on a family:
Filled with different personalities:
Each living into their respective lives and callings:
Yet bound by shared histories, customs, and relationships.
You could also think of All Saints as a team:
(I don’t want to say like the Green Bay Packers: But I feel sort of obligated
to say that here in Wisconsin)
But you know: a team of people: with participants from different
Who play their different roles, but all for a common purpose.
OR: I like to think of it as a quilt.
(Because I love making quilts)
All saints is like a quilt: where all different patterns and colors of fabric are
carefully stitched together:
Over a LONG TIME (Quilts take forever to make!)
And then: when it’s all together:
All the pieces combine to form a source of warmth:
And comfort: and home.
None of these images are perfect:
Because All saints is still a sort of mystery.
But what they all do:
Is show us the reality of being “knit together”
With the whole company of the faithful:
Even those who worship God in another time, or in another place:
In a greater light.
Our collect today literally says “Almighty God you have KNIT together your
elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your son
Christ our Lord.”
Today is the day that we celebrate that knitting.
That tie that binds all of us, and all those who came before us, and all those
who will come after us: into one common, mystical, body.
Today: All Saints: is the day where we truly celebrate the line that the priest
says at every Eucharist:
“Joining our voices with angels and archangels and ALL the company of
We are united to all the saints:
Knit together as a team:
Over the centuries, the church has identified the lives of the saints as
tangible expressions of the beatitudes:
The faithful who are poor in spirit:
Who mourn, who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
Who pursue peace.
It’s why we read the beatitudes for all saints day.
But let me be clear.
All Saints is not a celebration of self-righteousness.
These saints that we honor are NOT self righteous.
And some of them aren’t even famous.
And at the same time:
Might speak profound prophetic truth.
They’re life long learners:
Hungry: thirsty: to know more about God’s amazing love.
But those who strive to make connections and build relationships.
They’re people who mourn and grieve:
Who see the brokenness in our world:
And lament those deep losses.
All Saints day is not a principal feast because it lumps all these faithful
In an additive equation that makes it “big enough” to be principal.
All Saints is the celebration of the faithful:
And those that aren’t SPECIFICALLY remembered by name in the history
It’s about those saints that we’ve experienced and known in our own lives.
Those who mourned and grieved with us:
Those who spoke truth to us (even when the truth was hard to hear)
Those who taught us: and encouraged us to keep learning and growing.
And those people:
Those faithful disciples who had direct contact with us in our lives:
Are the ones that have shown us the work of God in the world.
Who are those people for you?
Who are the ordinary, yet saintly people who showed you that God’s love
can seep into the cracks and crevices of the human condition?
Those people who showed you that God’s love can be visible even in
lament and despair?
Those people who showed you that God’s love can be spoken through the
most un likely person?
Who are the people in your life that encouraged you to see yourself in a
Or to see God in a new way?
And what’s crazy is:
That the people that were that for me:
Are knitted to you.
And the people that were that to you:
Are sewed into a quilt with me.
And the people that were that to your daughter or son:
Are members of your team.
And the people that were that to another Christian across the globe:
Are a part of your spiritual family.
And today is the day to celebrate that.
The mystery that is the communion of saints.
The angels, and the archangels, and the company of heaven:
Woven, and sewn together with us: who are still living:
Into the team:
Maybe not today.
May we be those ordinary faithful saints to someone else:
Through lament that ultimately leads to comfort.
Through hunger and thirst for righteousness,
Through speaking prophetic truth:
Through reconciliation, and relationship building that brings peace.
With the angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven:
Let us rejoice today:
Remembering the ordinary saints in our own lives:
And let us strive to be those saints to others.
Announcements: Luanne shared about all the blessings the Food Pantry has received, The Thrift Store is in need of volunteers. Contact Pam 920-982-4141.
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