God’s Chosen One

Sunday, November 24

11-24By Jane Gardner, Hymnal Steering Team

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!”… “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

—Luke 23:35, 37, 39

On “Christ the King” Sunday, there is paradox in this scriptural account of Jesus’ last hours. Three times Jesus is mocked: by the leaders, by soldiers and by a criminal being crucified next to him.  “Save yourself,” they said. But, as we know from this account, he doesn’t save himself. Instead, the world is offered peace through his sacrifice. On this last Sunday of the Christian year, take time to reflect on this paradox and many others present in Jesus’ ministry as voiced in this hymn text by Sylvia Dunstan (sung to the tune PICARDY).

  1. You, Lord, are both Lamb and Shepherd.
    You, Lord, are both prince and slave.
    You, peacemaker and sword-bringer
    of the way you took and gave.
    You, the everlasting instant;
    You, whom we both scorn and crave.
  2. Clothed in light upon the mountain,
    stripped of might upon the cross,
    shining in eternal glory,
    beggar’d by a soldier’s toss,
    You, the everlasting instant;
    You, who are both gift and cost.
  3. You, who walk each day beside us,
    sit in power at God’s side.
    You, who preach a way that’s narrow,
    have a love that reaches wide.
    You, the everlasting instant;
    You, who are our pilgrim guide.
  4. Worthy is our earthly Jesus!
    Worthy is our cosmic Christ!
    Worthy your defeat and victory.
    Worthy still your peace and strife.
    You, the everlasting instant;
    You, who are our death and life.

                  —Sylvia G. Dunstan ©1991 GIA Publications

Prayer for Peace
Help us understand, God, the complex nature of Christ. Help us know to serve the servant. Help us share his radical peace.

Spiritual Practice
Reflect on this hymn as a poem, or sing to the Picardy tune.

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  1. Sunday Reading | Earthpages.org

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