Based on: Jeremiah 23:2-6
What you think about this land that we live in? Isn’t it great to live under a monarchy? Isn’t it great to have a King ruling over us? "Now wait a minute pastor," you might say "we live in a democracy and in less than a year we are going to vote for a new president." I know there is an election coming and I know it’s already starting to make its way into the news, but our first lesson for today tells us that we live under a king, we live under a monarchy. Jesus Christ is our King. Not only is he king over his church, over believers, but he is also king over all of creation, from the President of the United States to the homeless person who lives under a bridge.
Based on: Isaiah 65:17-25
Today is Saints Triumphant Sunday. What does that mean that we celebrate Saints Triumphant Sunday? Well, we remember those whom God kept faithful to the end of their lives. We praise God for bringing them into his eternal kingdom through the death of their bodies. We also look forward to the day when we will no longer suffer because of sin in this world. We will no longer be worn down by Satan’s temptations, and no longer frustrated by our own sinful bodies preventing us from serving their Lord the way we want to. Those who have died in the faith are now in perfect bliss with their Savior – in that place in heaven Christ promised he would make for each of us when he ascended into heaven.
Based on: Jeremiah 26:1-6
Last week we celebrated the Reformation, and we heard the gospel message, which is also the Reformation message, in all three of the readings for last week. Like bells in a carillon they rang clearly and joyfully. We heard that heaven is ours because Jesus rescued us from the pit of hell when he died on the cross. Today in our reading from Jeremiah we do not hear the joyful ringing of bells, but the slow tolling of a bell as we are reminded that one day Christ will return to Judge every single soul that has ever lived on this earth.
Based on: Jeremiah 31:31-34
Today we celebrate the Reformation. Let’s take a look at the word reformation. That word carries with that the idea that you are changing something for the better, and not just that you are changing something, but you are changing it back to what it once was. You are removing the problems that were not there originally. You are removing faults or abuses that came about over time. That is the sense in which the word reform is used when someone talks about reforming a criminal or someone with an addiction.
The end of the church year is very near. In Old Testament times the Israelites had two calendars – a civil calendar and a religious calendar. Those calendars started at different times of the year.
We also have two calendars (or three if we count our fiscal calendar beginning on July 1st). We recognize January 1st as the beginning of the year for most purposes in our daily lives. Our church has a different calendar. The church calendar begins with the first Sunday in Advent, on December 2nd this year, and ends with the four Sundays of End Time, which we will celebrate in November.