Summary: This is a sermon about the last word people speak, or perhaps even the last words we speak over something like the year ending!

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This text and the end of the year have me thinking about “last word’s”

Last Words: Here are some famous one’s: (1)

- Don’t worry, it’s fireproof!

- That bear is just hibernating

- So you’re a cannibal?

- What does this button do?

- Are you sure the power is off?

- “The odds of that happening are one in a million

- I’ve seen this done on t.v.

- I can do that with my eyes closed

- Nice doggie!

(1 - )

The Bible has it’s share of “last word’s”

a) Moses last words before he would give up his reign to Joshua (Duet 33), and his death, makes patriarchal blessing to each of the children, the tribes of Israel. He calls upon their strengths and weaknesses. (2) “He tenderly prays that their way ahead will be healthy, strong, faithful and blessed…” (Feasting, Yr B, Vol. IV, p. 315).

b) Elijah’s last words are between him and his young apprentice. He asks Elisha what he wants and the younger soon to be prophetic voice says “I want a double portion of your spirit”. Elijah’s last words are “If you see me when I am taken up, you’ll get what you ask”. (2 Kings 2:8-10). That you will have the spiritual power that you need. These are certainly good last words.

c) Stephen when being stoned is recorded in Acts 7:60 “As the rocks rained down, Stephen prayed, "Master Jesus, take my life." Then he knelt down, praying loud enough for everyone to hear, "Master, don't blame them for this sin"—his last words. Then he died.”

d) Jesus last words are recorded in various ways by the Gospel writers. To the thief He promises “Today you will be with me in paradise”. As onlookers watch he proclaims “It is finished”, and like Stephen he offers forgiveness “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.

e) David’s last words are recorded in today’s text. In this lectionary cycle, these words fall on the last Sunday of the Christian year. Next Sunday, with the 1st Sunday of Advent begins a New Year for the Christian cycle, and so David’s last words “marks the occasion of the last words we speak before the New Year is upon us…” (2). Samuel announces “Now these are the last words of David”.

David’s last words Praise. This is “David’s prayerful reflection on his reign” (2 p. 314). “As one reads this poetic song of praise, the complexity of this monarchy echoes in the background”… Marsha Mount Shoop says “Kingship is a gift from God. It is not something to be held with a clenched fist, but something to be held gently.”

Last Words of Praise echo this, in that LIFE “is a gift from God. It is not something to be held with a clenched fist, but something to be held gently”. David’s words are fitting for this week, they are last words of Praise, and last words of Thanksgiving. Words about how God had allowed him to prosper and how “all good things flow from the throne on down”. (2 - p. 319).

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