Readings for the Last Sunday of the Church Year

Luke 23:27-43; Colossians 1:13-20; Malachi 3:13-18

Surprise a young child you’ve only known a short time by calling him or her by name, and watch their face light up. They’re delighted that someone besides mom or dad thinks they’re important and special. “Wow, he remembered me!” Actually, I think it feels good at any age when someone important remembers us.

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” says the dying criminal on his cross. And Jesus does. “Today you will be with me in Paradise!” Can you imagine what sweet comfort those words brought to the ears of a guilt-stricken man about to take his last breath? (Luke 23)

Remembrance is also a theme of the Old Testament reading. Malachi promises that those who fear the LORD and esteem His name will have their names written in a book of remembrance. This is not a list of naughty vs. nice. Remember, the criminal made it in, and he’d only been a believer for a matter of minutes! It is through faith alone that we are saved (Mal 3).

Finally, the Epistle reading is composed in large part of an early Christian hymn that Paul quotes. This hymn extols Jesus Christ as the true image of God and the head of all Creation. This gives us a picture of that mighty kingdom of God that lie hidden in the Gospel reading under a cloak of dust and blood. (Col 1). Dying and rising, Jesus is our King forever. And yes, he will remember you when your last hour comes.