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Sermon Recap, Nov 26, 2023

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

“It’s Better To Be a Sheep” by Pastor Katie Rives

Jesus’ parable about the sheep and the goats found only in Matthew’s Gospel is known as “The Final Judgment” and was the basis for the sermon shared on Christ The King Sunday. Anticipating His own imminent death, Jesus was revealing how we are to live in anticipation of His final return as King and Judge. Jesus Christ’s Kingship is not like any other. Jesus does not oppress, manipulate, dominate, nor condone violence to legitimize His authority nor kingdom. King Jesus leads through sacrificial love. King Jesus gives the gifts of Salvation and Eternal Life and His Very Life Incarnate through the gift of The Holy Spirit.

These empower us to live as He did and to care about what He cares about. Allegiance to King Jesus is a choice evidenced in the way we worship and the way we live. Active service does not earn our Salvation, but it is a response to the love, mercy, grace, and gifts Jesus gives us.

Jesus identified with “the least of these,” calling them “brothers and sisters.” He clearly states that our treatment of others reveals how we treat Him, and he clearly identifies Himself with the marginalized, impoverished, and oppressed. Honoring The Imago Dei, being made in God’s Image, means we believe that every single person ever created has been made in The Image of The Creator and is worthy of honor and respect. Seeing Jesus in the faces of those we meet is recognizing The Imago Dei within each person and compels us to meet their needs.

“Sheep” are blessed with Eternal Life in The Kingdom of God because of the ways they blessed those in need. “Goats” are cursed and sent to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons because of what they did not do for those in need. This message challenges us to love the unlovely-those who might be quite different from ourselves. This is only possible because Jesus’s love set us free and we can put love in action to help set others free. It’s better to be a sheep.

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