November 25, 2018
Center for Faith and Giving worship resources
Christ the King Sunday
For those who follow the church calendar, this is the last Sunday of the church year. It’s the last Sunday when the liturgical color is green.
This is sometimes seen as the apex of the year, lifting up Christ as Ruler of the Cosmos, or King of all creation. Even if we don’t usually focus on “King”, this is a Sunday to acknowledge the primacy of Christ.
Call to Worship (from Psalm 24)
One: Lift up your heads, O you gates;
Many: be lifted up, you ancient doors,
One: that the King of glory may come in.
Many? Who is this King of glory?
One: The Lord strong and mighty,
Many: the Lord mighty in battle.
One: Who is this King of glory?
Many: The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory.
All: So let us worship God
God, as we come to worship you, we celebrate the One you welcomed into eternal life.
We rejoice because today we can look to Jesus as King – far different than any earthly ruler.
Help us eagerly anticipate the day when your Realm will fully come,
and all your people will be drawn to lives of full Shalom.
When we come to the end of a wonderful camp, conference or family time, we often take time to count the many ways we have delighted in the experience.
Today is the end of the Christian year which began last December. Thinking back, can you remember Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter? The fun of Pentecost, the delight of finding ways to grow in faith and live out our lives of discipleship; what a year it has been!
In gratitude, filled with thanksgiving for the many ways God is at work in us, in this congregation, and in our world, let us bring our tithes and offerings of gratitude.
(this may also be a follow-up Sunday to a special Thanksgiving offering; remember to lift up whatever that offering will support).
Prayer of Thanksgiving
With gratitude for all the blessings you pour into our lives, Generous God, we offer these gifts back to you. We pray they will be used to increase your Realm of peace. Bless all who have given gifts this day, that they may truly be part of the Way of Love which you taught through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, Ruler of all. AMEN.
Invitation to Communion
In John’s Revelation, Jesus says “I am the Alpha and the Omega”. Those are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, so it’s like saying “I am the beginning and the end”.
When we come to this table, we recognize the time warp capacity built into it.
We gather round this table and think of the beginning of this meal of remembrance: Jesus in an upper room with his disciples, encouraging them to remember him every time they broke bread and shared a cup poured out “for the forgiveness of sins”.
We also anticipate what John imagined at the end of time: Jesus seated on a throne, “ruler of the kings of the earth”. In that future scene, thousands gather to fall on their knees to honor, praise and worship.
And in between the beginning and the end comes what is: this sanctuary, this congregation, this final Sunday of another church year.
All are welcome to share in this meal:
a feast remembering Jesus in the upper room,
a feast in anticipation, for “Love wins” at the end of time,
and a feast in gratitude for what is here and now.