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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

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Lectionary Reflection

Year C, Proper 29 Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary Revised Common Lectionary Gospel Reading

Luke 23:35-43

And the people stood by, watching; 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.

Reflection on Luke 23:35-43 by Nan Stokes

What a mockery to have that inscription put on the cross of crucifixion! And, of course, that is exactly why it was put there to mock the Christ. The people scoffed at him and the soldiers mocked him "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" Instead Jesus saved the penitent thief and promised him that he would be in Paradise that day. Does this mean we can all wait until the last minute to ask forgiveness and be promised a place in Paradise? To be sure Christ died that all sin might be forgiven, but our penitence must be TRUE and never too late.

Today we celebrate Christ as King, and remember that for early Christians, that fact was hard to believe. Their hope for a king to lead them out of bondage was shattered as they watched their friend die on the cross that day. Now we know about the resurrection and the events after the crucifixion and burial, and can acknowledge that Christ IS King. The words of Jesus to the penitent thief speak to all of us, and are a promise to human beings about our place in Paradise. Jesus is truly King!

Copyright Statement

Reflections on other Readings [Standard (Episcopal) and Revised Common Lectionary] for Year C, Proper 29

Revised Common Lectionary

Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary

Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson:
Jeremiah 23:1-6
no reflection available
Jeremiah 23:1-6
no reflection available
Jeremiah 23:1-6
no reflection available
Canticle 4 or 16
no reflection available
New Testament Lesson:
Colossians 1:11-20
no reflection available
Colossians 1:11-20
no reflection available
Luke 23: 33-43
this page
Luke 23: 35-43 this page or Luke 19:29-38

Nan Stokes (1929-2010) was an active member of St. Edward's Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 2001. We welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Nan Stokes or any MEESC member, or mail them to:

MEESC c/o C. Morello 4451 Lakeside Drive Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

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