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Bible Study Guide for Sunday, November 20, 2022

November 15, 2022

*We will be taking off Thanksgiving week so the next guide we turn out will be for the 2nd Sunday of Advent.


Proper 29: November 20, 2022

  • Jeremiah 23:1-6
  • Canticle 16
  • Colossians 1:11-20
  • Luke 23:33-43

As I read through the selections for this week, the Sunday celebrating Christ the King, I was downright startled when I came to the Gospel reading. The first three readings had me primed for another message of reassurance that Jesus has got it all covered. In the first reading and the canticle, there are promises of tender care, justice, no fear, freedom. Paul’s letter to the Colossians describes Jesus’s sublime place at the head of creation from the beginning of time onwards. I thought to myself, there’s a lot of places in the Gospels where Jesus talks about the nature of His kingdom and the good things waiting for those who follow Him. The Gospel will probably be one of those bits, right?

Instead, the RCL places us right down in the middle of the agony of the Crucifixion. In the short paragraphs we read today we get the depths of human experience in miniature: torture, humiliation, injustice, physical suffering, deep love and forgiveness almost beyond understanding. His love for the people tormenting and mocking Him does not waver. He kindly shepherds the men dying with Him. We can only stand at the foot of the cross in awe, as we ask ourselves: what kind of king is this?

Returning to Colossians, we get the full picture of the kind of king Jesus is. Colossians tells us that Jesus and the redemption He offers are a link that goes from Heaven to the lowest places on earth and back up to Heaven. Jesus is the firstborn of all creation; He descended to us, suffered and died, and became the firstborn of the dead; He then brings us with Him as he goes up to Heaven, having reconciled the worst of human experience with God. We hear in other parts of the gospels that Jesus’s kingdom is not of this world, and that’s true – otherwise our global political structure would look a little different. However, this world plays an integral part in the kingdom of God. Jesus’s suffering on earth connects our own suffering to the depths of His heart. His greatest desire is to draw us into His kingdom of mercy and love, a kingdom more gracious and welcoming than any on earth. – Lindy Noecker


  • What elements of Jesus as king speak to you the most?
  • Some people aren’t that comfortable with a day celebrating the kingship of Jesus. If that’s you, what imagery do you prefer?
  • What can Jesus’s life tell us about the nature of His kingdom?