Jesus is Lord. What are you gonna do about it?

Sunday November 21, 2021   34th Sunday Ordinary Time (Cycle B)

The tie in between today’s reading: The reactions to “Thy Will Be Done”.

Psalm 93:1-5Daniel 7:13-14Revelation 1:5-8John 18:33-37

     There is one pervasive theme running throughout all of our readings today: Jesus Christ reigns! In heaven; he rules absolutely. When He commands Gabriel to jump the response is, “How high?”  I suppose if you’re an angel, that’s a legitimate question. On earth, things are a little messier as God allows the drama of this sinful world to play out while He gathers the last of His elect to Himself.  But know this: He will come back to claim His throne as King of kings and Lord of lords. It will be a day of thunderbolts and earthquakes, of rewards and retribution.  The Alpha and the Omega will fulfill the opening statement of the Our Father: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  In this present life, we all live in one of three categories in our relationship to Jesus Christ and His second coming. You are either in conflict with it, compliant in it, or committed to it. The question is where do you fit in?

     Conflict is simple enough. You have a free will and you will not have Jesus to reign over you.  You’re not alone. It’s a pervasive philosophy throughout the world. You are convinced that the outcomes of your choices will be better if you disregard God. I mean, if God happens to agree with you, so much the better, but it’s not necessary. Your pride places your intellect above the Omnipresent Brain that sees the end from the beginning. This is the very nature of sin and it is dumb. Essentially, heaven would be hell for the person in conflict with the Almighty. What’s left for the God of light to do but to oblige your autonomy by sending you out away from Him and into the darkness to create your own little universe. Consider though, He did everything divinely possible for you to avoid that fate. Be careful what you wish for.

  The compliant person sees the benefits of a virtuous life.  He believes in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.  He is invested in the social gospel of love thy neighbor in order to create peace on earth. Although he is not perfect, he is convinced that if he does good, then he is good. He feels that his participation in church will draw him closer to God and help make the good man that he is even better. His premise is confirmed weekly by his give no offense pastor, that tickles the ears of the congregation in order to keep the collection plate full and ensure his own retirement. He only understands Christ’s sacrifice on the cross in the vaguest of metaphors. He rationalizes sin and makes it trivial. He is comfortably ignorant, which makes him unaware that in his mind he has recreated God in his own image. The real Lord is a stranger to him. So when he meets Jesus face to face he will be greeted by, “I never knew you.” and be turned away.  He was all for the kingdom of God, but didn’t really care about the King.  What he didn’t realize was that the King is the kingdom. The kingdom of God is in you (Luke 17:21).

     The committed are committed because it’s their new nature. The committed know that heaven is first a state of being and a physical location second. You don’t go to heaven. Heaven comes to you through your relationship with Jesus Christ. Your faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins means that you spiritually died with Him on Good Friday and were spiritually made alive with Him when He resurrected on Easter Sunday. You are spiritually born again into citizenship of the kingdom of God. This reality is played out in the physical world as each of the committed live out their new lives modeled after and sustained by their King. When Jesus comes again to reign on the earth, it is only to complete physically what has already been done spiritually. For now, the Kingdom of God is advancing soul by soul and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. We, the committed born again stand as ambassadors of Jesus Christ with the good news that you can also become a citizen in the kingdom of God. Accept by faith the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for your sins and submit to Him as your King of kings and Lord of Lords. Today! For the kingdom and the power and the glory is God’s now and forever. Be part of it.

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