Sunday, November 20, 2016

Works of Darkness

Luke 23:33-43

When they came to the place that is called The Skull,
 they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on
 his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, "Father,
forgive them; for they do not know what they are
doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing.
The people stood by, watching Jesus on the cross;
but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved
 others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah
 of God, his chosen one!" The soldiers also mocked
 him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and
 saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save
 yourself!" There was also an inscription over him,
 "This is the King of the Jews."
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept
deriding him and saying, "Are you not the
Messiah? Save yourself and us!" But the other
 rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God,
since you are under the same sentence of
condemnation? And we indeed have been
 condemned justly, for we are getting what
we deserve for our deeds, but this man has
 done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus,
 remember me when you come into your
kingdom." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today
you will be with me in Paradise."

There are times in our lives when darkness seensure to overwhelm us. Winter'season long days for darkness can make us uneasy and feeling blue. When I lived in Sitka, Alaska my doctor insisted that  I  take vitamin December since everyone needs the island was deficient due to the lack of light. 

Jesus faces the cruelest death that humans can dream up, and yet even in the midst of excruciating pain, with his life draining from him, he forgives the murderer next to him and promises him eternal paradise. God in flesh, still acting for love in the face of the world's extreme anger and violence. No matter how fearful email might be in this season, we can trust that the living God is in the midust of our darkness, violence and despair. 

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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