Sunday Reflection – Reign of Christ Sunday, November 20, 2022


Jesus on the cross

Luke 23 32 They also led two other criminals to be executed with Jesus. 33 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” They drew lots as a way of dividing up his clothing.

35 The people were standing around watching, but the leaders sneered at him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he really is the Christ sent from God, the chosen one.”

36 The soldiers also mocked him. They came up to him, offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you really are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”38 Above his head was a notice of the formal charge against him. It read “This is the king of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus insulted him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

40 Responding, the other criminal spoke harshly to him, “Don’t you fear God, seeing that you’ve also been sentenced to die? 41 We are rightly condemned, for we are receiving the appropriate sentence for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 Jesus replied, “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise.”

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: Jesus, ‘King of the Judeans’ (November 20th)

Read Luke 23:33-43 with your family.

This week the entire story of Good Friday is the backdrop for the scripture. The part of the video that shows our shorter scripture verse begins at the 2 minute mark.

This is known as ‘Reign of Christ’ Sunday or in some places “Christ the King” Sunday. It is the last day in the church year before we begin again with Advent next week. This is the last time we will hear about the way the writer of the Gospel of Luke saw Jesus for two years, and will move on to the Gospel of Matthew next week. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus made a difference through his teaching and healing ministries, challenged the authorities regularly, and told those with power that they were not acting the way God wanted them to act. And they killed Jesus for his political opinion and his social justice attitudes.

Luke tells that a sign was put on the cross above Jesus’ head, that read “King of the Judeans” (the Bible translators made the mistake of thinking it read “King of the Jews”, but haven’t changed it to Judeans even though we now know better). The Romans and their friends who wanted Jesus dead were mocking him while he was dying on the cross. One of the criminals beside him mocked him too.

However, the criminal on the other side understood that Jesus was bringing everyone a better life and wasn’t the political prisoner that Jesus was accused of being. He asked Jesus for forgiveness and to be part of the next life. Most Hebrew people believed God would one day help the good people return to the Garden of Eden where they wouldn’t have any more troubles. Jesus showed that even those who society decided were ‘bad’ people had the same opportunity to be part of God’s world, and that we didn’t have to wait for it to be some wonderful other place, it could be here in this world if we all worked together to build it.

Just knowing we are in God’s love means we understand what ‘paradise’ means. We know love, and that was the basis of all Jesus’ teachings about God and about serving each other.

Sunday Reflection – November 6, 2022


Jesus is challenged by a Sadducee

Luke 20 27 Some Sadducees, who deny that there’s a resurrection, came to Jesus and asked, 28 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies leaving a widow but no children, the brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother29 Now there were seven brothers. The first man married a woman and then died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third brother married her. Eventually all seven married her, and they all died without leaving any children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 In the resurrection, whose wife will she be? All seven were married to her.”

34 Jesus said to them, “People who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy to participate in that age, that is, in the age of the resurrection from the dead, won’t marry nor will they be given in marriage. 36 They can no longer die, because they are like angels and are God’s children since they share in the resurrection. 37 Even Moses demonstrated that the dead are raised—in the passage about the burning bush, when he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 He isn’t the God of the dead but of the living. To him they are all alive.”

39 Some of the legal experts responded, “Teacher, you have answered well.” 40 No one dared to ask him anything else.

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: Jesus & the Sadducee (November 6th)

Read Luke 20:27-40 with your family.

Jesus was often challenged by those who were part of the Temple. They wanted to prove that Jesus didn’t understand God or the scriptures, but Jesus rarely answered their questions directly, instead Jesus would talk about something else, showing that the person asking the question was the one who really didn’t understand God.

In this story Jesus is challenged by a Sadducee. The Sadducees were from very rich families and liked to have their say in anything that happened in the Temple or in the Hebrew justice system. They liked their power. They also did not believe in an afterlife and resurrection, something that the Pharisees and Jesus did believe in. The afterlife was hope that the Hebrew people would have a second life with God, one that was fair for everyone and no one would be too poor or too rich. The Hebrews especially liked the idea of living a life where the Roman Empire was not controlling everything. In addition, the Sadducees only believed that the first five books in the Bible were important (Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, the books of Law in the Bible). The Sadducees did not think the Psalms or books of the prophets, or anything else was important. They liked to say “Moses says” about everything because Moses was the only one who mattered as far as they were concerned.

Jesus knew all of this about the Sadducees, so when one asked a question trying to get Jesus to say something against Moses, Jesus was ready. Jesus told a story of Moses as his response, so that the Sadducees would either have to agree with Jesus or say something against Moses. Jesus was smart that way.

Jesus knew that our God is the God of the living. It doesn’t matter who we are or how we live, we all have a place in God’s family in this life and in the next life. So it didn’t matter who the woman in the Sadducee’s question married, in the next life marriage wasn’t a concern for anyone.

Kids Korner: Thomas has doubts (April 24th)

Read John 20:19-31 with your family.

Thomas had doubts. He was like most followers of Jesus throughout 2000 years of history. Doubts is not the opposite of faith. Doubts just means you have questions, and questions help us grow our faith. If everyone had perfect faith, we wouldn’t have any conversations about faith and we would never know if someone has misunderstandings.

Doubts are a good thing.

Talk about some of your doubts with your family. Thomas still believed in Jesus even though he had a hard time understanding that Jesus came back from the dead. We can all believe in Jesus and still have questions.

Kids Korner: Easter Sunday (April 17th)

Read Luke 24:1-12 with your family.

Some churches often forget that the women came back to Jesus’ tomb while the men were hiding in the upper room, scared about what would happen. In all the excitement about Jesus’ resurrection, we forget who the first witnesses were to the empty tomb.

Jesus was very intentional about teaching women and men about God and the world God wants to make. It wasn’t only about the 12 named disciples and what they understood or the mistakes they made. The women were there, learning and believing.

In all Christian traditions, Mary Magdalene is a saint because she was the first one to tell everyone about Jesus’ resurrection.

Sunday Reflection – Easter Sunday, April 17, 2022

Story Time



Luke 24 Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. When they found the stone rolled away from the entrance, they went in. But they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus, and they did not know what to think.

Suddenly two men in shining white clothes stood beside them. The women were afraid and bowed to the ground. But the men said, “Why are you looking in the place of the dead for someone who is alive?  Jesus isn’t here! He has been raised from death. Remember that while he was still in Galilee, he told you, ‘The Son of Man will be handed over to sinners who will nail him to a cross. But three days later he will rise to life.’ ” Then they remembered what Jesus had said.

9-10 Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and some other women were the ones who had gone to the tomb. When they returned, they told the eleven apostles and the others what had happened. 11 The apostles thought it was all nonsense, and they would not believe.

12 But Peter ran to the tomb. And when he stooped down and looked in, he saw only the burial clothes. Then he returned, wondering what had happened.




Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Sunday Reflection – October 17, 2021


Jesus predicts his death and resurrection

Mark 10 32 Jesus and his disciples were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, with Jesus in the lead. The disciples were amazed while the others following behind were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he told them what was about to happen to him. 33 “Look!” he said. “We’re going up to Jerusalem. The Human One will be handed over to the chief priests and the legal experts. They will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles.34 They will ridicule him, spit on him, torture him, and kill him. After three days, he will rise up.”

A request from James and John

35 James and John, Zebedee’s sons, came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

37 They said, “Allow one of us to sit on your right and the other on your left when you enter your glory.”

38 Jesus replied, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Can you drink the cup I drink or receive the baptism I receive?”

39 “We can,” they answered.

Jesus said, “You will drink the cup I drink and receive the baptism I receive,40 but to sit at my right or left hand isn’t mine to give. It belongs to those for whom it has been prepared.”

41 Now when the other ten disciples heard about this, they became angry with James and John. 42 Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the ones who are considered the rulers by the Gentiles show off their authority over them and their high-ranking officials order them around.43 But that’s not the way it will be with you. Whoever wants to be great among you will be your servant. 44 Whoever wants to be first among you will be the slave of all, 45 for the Human One didn’t come to be served but rather to serve and to give his life to liberate many people.”

Performed by Margaret Whisselle