November 22, 2020
Christ the King
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
Call to Worship (based on Psalm 100)
Leader: Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
People: Worship the Lord with gladness; come into God’s presence with singing.
Leader: Know that the Lord is God.
People: It is God who made us, and we belong to God.
Leader: Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and God’s courts with praise.
People: Give thanks to the Lord, bless God’s name.
Leader: For the Lord is good!
People: God’s steadfast love endures forever, and God’s faithfulness to all generations.
God of all things good, you have blessed us beyond measure and called us your children. While we are not worthy, we are grateful. Speak to us during this time of worship. Warm our hearts and embolden our spirits to be the people you have called us to be. We are here to give ourselves to you again. Amen.
Moment for Stewardship
“The least of these.” The Matthew 25 passage has made this phrase famous, symbolizing those in our world who are the most vulnerable – the sick, the imprisoned, the hungry. And yet, being “the least” is a worldly distinction because no one is the least in God’s eyes. All are valuable, all are worthy.
When we come to share our tithes and offerings, we do not do some from a position of superiority, as if we are “the most” exercising our benevolence on those below us. We come to this time humbled and grateful, recognizing we all fall short of God’s grace, and yet we are offered it in abundance just the same.
The needs of Matthew 25 – clothing, shelter, companionship – are still needs today. And God has blessed us with the resources to make a difference in people’s lives. Let us give, not out of pity or obligation, but out of solidarity with “the least of these,” recognizing that the image of God in them shines as brightly as it does in us. Let us collect our tithes and offerings.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Loving God, you have given us more than we need, and yet we misuse our resources so that not everyone has enough. Thank you for this time and this reminder that your gifts are for sharing, and for calling us once again to care for the least of these. May these gifts be used to give hope. Amen.
Invitation to Communion
Today is Christ the King Sunday, the day when we remember the unsurpassed greatness of Jesus Christ. It’s also the last day of the church calendar year, which starts anew next week with the first Sunday of Advent as we make our way once again to the manger and the miracle that awaits us.
That’s one of the beautiful paradoxes of faith. The tiny infant born in a lowly manger is also the cosmic king of the universe. The word made flesh will have his flesh pierced at Golgotha. The one lifted up and transfigured on the mountain will also be lifted up on the cross like a common criminal.
And, the one we call our Savior won’t even save himself, but instead will die so that we may know new life. We’re reminded of that each time with come to this table. Jesus had all authority at his disposal, and yet he chose to humble himself so that we may know God’s glorious love for us.
This meal is a banquet set by a king, the king of all kings. And the most amazing part is that YOU are invited. Yes, you! The king made a point of making sure you knew you were invited. So let us share in this feast together, rejoicing in the truth that Jesus still lives in our heart and in our world. Let us share in communion together.
This installment finishes the Church Year and we thank Rev. Kory Wilcoxson for authoring these resources for the last 6 months while Rev. Linda McKiernan Allen was on hiatus. Next week Advent begins, so we move to Year B in the Revised Common Lectionary and we anticipate Linda’s return as the creator of this weekly offering.