Worship Service – November 21, 2021

Scriptures; Psalm 132:1-12, Revelation 1:4-8

Sermon scripture; John 18:28-38

Message; “Christ the King ”

Psalm 132 1-12

(1) O Lord , remember David and all the hardships he endured.
(2) He swore an oath to the Lord and made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
(3) “I will not enter my house or go to my bed-
(4) I will allow no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids,
(5) till I find a place for the Lord , a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
(6) We heard it in Ephrathah, we came upon it in the fields of Jaar :
(7) “Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool-
(8) arise, O Lord , and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.
(9) May your priests be clothed with righteousness; may your saints sing for joy.”
(10) For the sake of David your servant, do not reject your anointed one.
(11) The Lord swore an oath to David, a sure oath that he will not revoke: “One of your own descendants I will place on your throne-
(12) if your sons keep my covenant and the statutes I teach them, then their sons will sit on your throne for ever and ever.”

Revelation 1:4-8

(4)John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits (5) before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. (6) To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father–to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. (7) Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.
(8) “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

John 18:28-38

Jesus Before Pilate

(28) Then the Jews led Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness the Jews did not enter the palace; they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. (29) So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”
(30) “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”
(31) Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” (32) “But we have no right to execute anyone,” the Jews objected. This happened so that the words Jesus had spoken indicating the kind of death he was going to die would be fulfilled.
(33) Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
(34) “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”
(35) “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”
(36) Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
(37) “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
(38) “What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.

This is the word of God, for the people of God. Thanks be to God.

Our Gospel reading today is full of suspense almost like something you might see in a TV crime show. A man falsely accused (Jesus) and brought to the authorities (Pilate) by a vigilante group (the Jews). Upset because he is infringing on their territory. They were in hopes that by kowtowing to Pilate, and bringing charges against Jesus, that warranted execution in their eyes, they could avoid blame and take care of this problem. They knew that only the Romans could carry out what they wanted and make this problem go away.
Of course Pilate himself did a little kowtowing to this vigilante group, who brought Jesus. As we read this account, he went in and out of the palace three times in order to keep peace with them so that they could participate in keeping the Passover. (18:29,33,38)
So when Pilate meets with this vigilante group ,the Jews and their leaders, outside his residence, so that they might not become ritually unclean due to contact with Gentiles (vs.28),and he asks them,”What Charges are you bringing against this man?”, their response gives us the feeling that they thought that Pilate should be grateful. As we read in verse 30. ”If he were not a criminal, we would have not handed him over to you.”
The accusation that Jesus is a criminal, the charges, are less clear in John than in the other Gospels. Luke records; “They began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ a king”(Luke 23:2). Doesn’t that bring to mind political offenses that we see so much of today.
But Pilate is initially unmoved and prefers to leave the case in Jewish courts, but this group of Jews reminds him of the Roman restriction prohibiting the Jews from carrying out capital punishment.
Pilate now goes inside to Jesus, who is in custody and speaks with him. Pilate’s first inquiry is important. The accusation that he is a “King” was a political title that was enjoyed in Judea only by Herod the Great. Pilate had to wonder, if Jesus is making a political statement with this use of the title “King”. So he asks him directly, ”Are you the king of the Jews?”(vs33). Jesus accepts the title but redefines it: his kingdom is “not of this world”. He is not an insurrectionist of the sort that Rome fears.
Pilate feels no threat and dismisses Jesus, but Pilates’ closing remark (“What is truth?”) in verse 38, tells us that he has doubts and a lack of understanding about what’s really going on. Especially after Jesus remarks when Jesus said to him: “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me”(vs.37). Soon, however, Pilate’s interest will come to light.
Do you have the same doubts or lack of understanding of who Jesus is? Is he,”Christ the King” in your life? To you seek out the truth in all your decisions? Do you take a stand on issues of the day? Do you stand with the Republicans or Democrats when you should be taking a stand for Christ, the King of your life.
Maybe we should look at this with the mindset of a little boy.
A five-year-old boy was stalling going to bed. He asked for a glass of juice.
“No, sir,” his father answered. “No more juice. I’m king of the juice in this house.”
“That’s not right, Daddy,” the young fellow retorted. “Our Sunday school teacher said Jesus is the king of the juice.”
Today is known as “Christ the King Sunday” in many churches throughout the world. “Christ the King”! Is He yours? If He is, then your first allegiance is to Christ. Maybe we should start our own party and name it the,”Christian party”. Because if Christ is our King our first allegiance should be to Christ.
You may ask, what do you mean by saying our first allegiance is to Christ?
Well, according to Websters, the definition of allegiance is:
(1): the fidelity owed by a subject or citizen to a sovereign or government
(2): the obligation of an alien to the government under which the alien resides
(3): devotion or loyalty to a person, group, or cause.
I suppose, starting a party of our own may sound like a radical idea. But it shouldn’t be, if Christ is the King of your life. But in today’s world it is. As Christians, our first allegiance is to Christ. Not to our political party. Not to the opinions of our family, friends and neighbors. Not even to our nation. But to Christ!
That is a risky thing to say from a pulpit in 2021. There are some people today who confuse their political views with their allegiance to Christ, and they are not bashful about branding those who disagree with them as enemies of the Gospel. We’ve seen it happen before. In earlier generations, the battle to keep African-Americans out of schools, libraries, and even away from public drinking fountains was framed by some people in religious terms. In their eyes it was God’s will to keep the races separated.
So, be careful when you, to put it spiritually, baptize your political views. You may one day discover that you are on the opposite side from Christ. The first question we should always ask is that time-honored one, WWJD, What would Jesus do? Then we might be able to guess what side of a political issue we should embrace. Not always, of course, since many political positions are very complicated, but most of the time.
Don’t misunderstand. Christian people ought to be involved in politics. Just don’t expect the Kingdom to come through the dealings of politicians. Politics is about compromise, not principled discipleship.
Have you ever heard the story of the member of the U.S. Senate who is hit by a truck and dies. He arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.
“Welcome to heaven,” says St. Peter. “Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see politicians, so we’re not sure what to do with you.”
“No problem, just let me in,” says the man.
“Well, I’d like to but I have orders from higher up. What we’ll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.” “Really, I’ve made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,” says the senator.
“I’m sorry but we have our rules.” And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is an impressive clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends, most of them politicians as well. Everyone is very happy and with a welcoming smile they run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of their constituents. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.
Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that, before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises. The elevator goes up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting.
Now it’s time to visit heaven. So, 24 hours pass with the Senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
“Well then, you’ve spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.”
The senator reflects for a minute, then answers: “Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.”
So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors of the elevator open and he’s in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up trash and putting it in black bags. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder.
“I don’t understand,” stammers the senator. “Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a club house, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now all there is a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?”
The devil looks at him, smiles and says, “Yesterday you were attending a campaign event. Today you voted us into power!”
Anybody who expects members of Congress to keep all their campaign promises deserves to be deceived.
Remember as Christians, our first allegiance is to Christ and his kingdom.
We demonstrate this allegiance by the quality of our lives. By living faithfully, loyally, fulfilling our obligations to Christ in a loving attitude of devotion.
It is interesting to witness how Christians seek to publicize their allegiance to Christ. Some do it with bumper stickers. Others do it by renaming building, streets, our events and sometimes even by erecting symbols and statues for all to see. But our primary allegiance to Christ, we demonstrate by how we live.
Here’s the most important piece of information that we need on this Christ the King Sunday.

Christ demonstrated his allegiance to us by his life, death and resurrection!

Just for a moment today, think what Christ did while he was on this earth.
“You think you had it rough as a kid? Jesus was born in a barn. His first bed was a feed trough. He wasn’t even two years old and people were trying to kill Him. He has to hide out with His mom and dad on the run, all during his childhood. And that went on His entire life. People were always plotting to kill Him, eventually they did.
Did you grow up being laughed at and kicked around? Imagine Jesus hearing the laughs about His mom being pregnant before she was married, getting teased and spit at by other kids because of it.
“Did you grow up without a father or mother? Divorce, death, or maybe one just walked out on you? You know, Joseph is never mentioned after Jesus is 12. Nobody knows for sure what happened to him, but most experts figure he must have died when Jesus was just a kid. Jesus knew that heartbreak.
Imagine Him standing at His dad’s grave. And as the eldest son, He’d have to carry on and support the family. See Him in His dad’s workshop that first day, reaching for His father’s tools, tears streaming down His face, still just a kid.
Ever had no place to sleep? “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”, the words of Jesus. He even knows what it’s like to have no place to live, sleeping around campfires. Or on people’s floors. Ever had anyone beat your face in? You guessed it, the Bible says they beat Jesus so badly you couldn’t even tell He was a human being.
Have you ever had friends run out on you? Jesus had a couple choice buddies named Judas and Peter. He knows every struggle, every heartache. And not just because He’s God and God knows everything, but because when He was a man; He went through the same things you and I go through and more. He knows because He lived it.
And here’s the amazing thing. He did it for you and me. No wonder we celebrate Christ the King Sunday. We owe him our allegiance. We demonstrate that allegiance by how we live. We love him because he first loved us. He demonstrated that love through his life, death and resurrection.
So when you leave here today how will others identify you? Republican, Democrat or maybe even as Independent. Where will your allegiance lie? I pray that you will be recognized as one of the Christian party. Because, Christ is the King!
Show your allegiance, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father–to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” (Rev.1:5,6)
In His Service,
Pastor Joe
Listen To Audio: Sermon 20211121
Listen To Audio: Service 11212021

Prayer of Confession:    O God, your revelation in Jesus Christ gives life to our bodies and souls.  He has shown us the way to everlasting life and has promised to make us priests and a royal nation, but not in a place that we can see in the here-and-now.  Still, we try to fit your ways into our expectations and then we grumble when You do not conform.  Where we have doubted your wisdom and your truth, forgive us.  Forgive us when we get so caught up in our own expectations of who we want your Son to be that we miss the truth of who You are.  Amen.



Pastor Joe will be available at the church on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4.  If you need to speak to him, contact Pastor Joe at570-267-4570 (cell) or Email: joe.s.travis@gmail.com

Loose change goes to Kenya/Rev. Malaho

Sunday School starts at 8:30am

Choir practice will be on Thursday at 1:00! Please come a join us in singing praises to Jesus! 

Our mission for the Children’s Home in Binghamton (Bill’s Kids) continues.  Monetary gifts only.  The staff will buy presents.

Christmas Greeting – If anyone would like to put a Christmas Greeting in the December Messenger, please give a handwritten note to Carolyn White or E-Mail her at whisperpines@frontiernet.net by Tuesday November 30th.

Newsletter Deadline – Tuesday November 30th, 2021.

LADIES’ CHRISTMAS TEA at the Montrose Bible Conference, December 7th 2021.  Christmas music, devotional thoughts with our speaker, a light lunch, assortment of seasonal goodies and teas.  11am to 1 pm—Cost $12 per person.

EMAIL address for the church has been changed to:fhpc400@att.net  

The PW is selling Franklin Hill Presbyterian Cookbooks called “Recipes From The Hill” at $10.00 each.  All proceeds go to missions.  See Debbie Stalker.

Season of Advent begins next week.

Please sign up to host one of the social hours on the Sunday after Communion Service on the first Sunday of the month. 




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