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We choose rulers and they are sometimes chosen for us. They are always imperfect. No matter who rules us here on earth, our King is Christ.   

 This sermon is quite a bit different from how it was written, therefore, please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The sermon notes which are included for convenience.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

November 23, 2016 - Christ the King Sunday   

"Kings and Queens".  Text is from Luke 23:33-43

Today we are at the end of our liturgical year, and we can also view this as the primary time to look forward to the coming kingdom and remember who it is that reigns on the throne. But the text that we're focusing on today is one at the crucifixion, not of Revelations, not of predictions but situated smack dab amid Christ's passion. And we see upon this hill called the Skull not just one cross but three, for along with Jesus hang two men who are condemned to die as well, albeit for serious infractions against the people. 

And even at his time of death, even as the centurions taunt him, as the leaders of the Judeans make fun of him, Jesus asks the Father for forgiveness for all of them. 

But even the first criminal appears to taunt Jesus as well, echoing for a third time the running joke, why can't Jesus just save himself from the cross, if he is indeed and truly the messiah. 

What does it mean to claim Jesus as supreme ruler of the Universe over all? How does that affect our allegiances and how we respond to threats around us as well as fulfill our calling?  And just what do we mean by "God and Country"?

 Please listen to the sermon rather than read it.  The text is included for your convenience, but it is not entirely like the delivered version, which includes nuances that can't be read.  

Sermon delivered at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Berkeley. 

November 22, 2015  -  Christ the King Sunday / 26th Sunday after Pentecost

"One Creation, Under God".  Text is from John 18:33-37

Good morning to you my sisters and brothers in Christ, saints and sinners, children of God.  

There are many different ways to end the year.  Most of the western world commonly celebrate it on December 31, where our calendar ends and the date will move from 2015 to 2016. I know that many of us will have fond memories of 2015, while others will be of the attitude that they couldn't wait for this year to end. I myself have had some great joys, becoming pastor of this congregation being one of them, as well as moving into a new house, as of yesterday.  But I also lost my grandmother in January and one other very good friend only last month.

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I *am* Cary Bass-Deschenes
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