First, let’s make something clear from our gospel lesson this morning. Jesus is making a very bold claim about his identity. He is using the language of kingship and other images that we hear in our reading from Ezekiel and from other biblical passages of shepherd and sheepfold to let us know that he is God. Not a prophet, not a teacher, not just a guy who can do cool things with a slight of hand, but God who has become man so that God and humankind can be joined together forever. God became man in Jesus so that you and I could be saved from the sin of Adam and Eve by baptism, by dying with Jesus and rising to new life in him. God became man in Jesus, because God so loved the world… and only God could love the world so much to want to be with us so incredibly intimately.
So, Jesus the Christ, Son of God, great shepherd of the sheep, the king seated on the throne is, in fact, second person of the Trinity, God.
So back to our question, “what have we learned” in these many weeks after Pentecost?
Hopefully, what we have learned is that the life of discipleship is both a life of difficulty and joy. Hopefully we have also learned that when we want to find Jesus, all we have to do is look at the Eucharistic feast of the church, and also we find Jesus in the faces of God’s people, especially the poor, the sick, the prisoners, and the lonely.
You have heard me say before, that what we do here on earth matters. So often we get caught up in thoughts of heaven, but let us remember that Jesus lived here, and it is here he will return. The great day of Christ the King, the Judge of all, will one day come, although we do not know when. Even though we do not know when, we are commissioned to prepare ourselves and this place for his return. And we know what that means… it means being people who are on a mission; like the sign says when we leave St. Michael’s, we are entering the mission field. Our baptismal vows ask us to seek and serve Christ in ALL people… all people. Our job is not to judge who is in or who is out; the great judgment comes when Jesus comes back to judge the living and the dead; it is He who will decide who is on his left and who is on his right, and that decision, it appears will be based on how we have acted toward Jesus in the face of our brothers and sisters.
There is always work to be done beloved, and so we must always be busy, but busy in the ways of the kingdom. I don’t think that any of us is very far away from God’s grace and mercy; if we are far away from God’s mercy, I think it’s because we have chosen that path; we know what must be done, we know that we are his hands and feet here and now. May we go forth into the mission field to seek and serve Christ in all people. May his kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Come Lord Jesus our king and great high priest.
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.