“When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.  Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 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!’ The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’’ (Luke 23:33-38)  We now come to the end of another liturgical year.  Next week we shall begin Advent; we shall begin our watch for the “new born king.”  But this Sunday we draw to a conclusion our Lord’s earthly life and ministry.  Today is revealed his power in fullness.  Today we see again that perfect power is made known in what appears to be weakness.  True greatness is revealed in utter humility.  Over the years, I have come to believe that the words of forgiveness which Jesus offers us from the cross come first for a couple of reasons.  First, he does this because he has come among us in order that we might be forgiven.  But, there is a second reason, without first an offer of forgiveness, we could not bear to hear anything else from him.  The foundational words from this King are words of love and reconciliation.  And, he speaks those with his full authority.  He speaks love and forgiveness with all his regal power.  And now for us, having heard his words of forgiveness, we may now accept his offer to be changed; his offer to live new lives.  And, it is in that way, that the world comes to believe.  Jesus, our King, does rule forever.  With gratitude and wonder, let us live in that light.  Have a great week!