November 21, 2021

November 21, 2021

November 21, 2021

Renni P. Morris
Laity
Tennessee Valley District

2 Samuel 23:1-7 (NRSV)

23 Now these are the last words of David:
The oracle of David, son of Jesse,
    the oracle of the man whom God exalted,[a]
the anointed of the God of Jacob,
    the favorite of the Strong One of Israel:
The spirit of the Lord speaks through me,
    his word is upon my tongue.
The God of Israel has spoken,
    the Rock of Israel has said to me:
One who rules over people justly,
    ruling in the fear of God,
is like the light of morning,
    like the sun rising on a cloudless morning,
    gleaming from the rain on the grassy land.
Is not my house like this with God?
    For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
    ordered in all things and secure.
Will he not cause to prosper
    all my help and my desire?
But the godless are[b] all like thorns that are thrown away;
    for they cannot be picked up with the hand;
to touch them one uses an iron bar
    or the shaft of a spear.
    And they are entirely consumed in fire on the spot

Celebrate the Reign of Christ!
Devotion

I am thankful the church’s liturgical calendar does not match our secular and fiscal calendars. I am ready for a new year RIGHT NOW! Today is the Christian’s New Year’s Eve, the last Sunday of Ordinary Time. Next week, the first Sunday of Advent ushers in a new church year that offers a blank slate to us individually, in our churches, and throughout our denomination.
 
Before the new year liturgical year begins, let’s celebrate Christ as King of the Earth and ponder the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is full of hope and expectation. God the King meets us in the darkness and calls us to light. The King is with us in our present reality. We can celebrate, trusting that God is the past, present, and future King over all the earth. In The Wisdom of the Seasons, Charles M. Olsen encourages us to reframe our stories as we move into another season. How is God inviting us to reframe our stories?
 
Look at verse 5a again: Is not my house like this with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure.
 
… everlasting … ordered in all things and secure …
 
Regardless of what is going on around us, we can believe and trust in the Lord of the future. George Koehler says, “God goes before us, beckoning us into the new world that is already being created, calling us to join in the challenging work of fashioning it.” Revelation 21:5 reminds us that God makes all things new. You and I can join in that process as we choose to be kind; as we pray; as we watch; and as we do the work of ministry. We have no reason to falter or worry. Koehler encourages us, saying that with Christ the King, we can experience true shalom -- a world of plenty, of personal and interpersonal harmony and righteousness, of liberation, of just economic practices, and of ordered political relations. Let’s celebrate!
 
To learn more about God’s reign and to read more of Koehler’s thoughts, visit https://www.umc.org/en/content/our-christian-beliefs-gods-reign


Prayer

Lord, we celebrate You and Your Kingdom today. As we prepare for a new liturgical year, we thank You for the order and security You bring to our lives. Show us how to share Your shalom wherever we are. Amen.