November 21, 2021

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Reign of Christ Sunday

2 Samuel 23:1-7 

Psalm 132:1-12, (13-18) 

Revelation 1:4b-8

John 18:33-37

Call to Worship  (adapted from Rev. 1)

One:  Grace to you and peace from the One who is, who was, 
                and who is to come!
Many:  We’re gathered in the name of Jesus Christ, the faithful witness,
                the Ruler of all rulers on earth.
One: We are in the line of rulers, and leaders, because of Jesus, 
                who loves us.
Many: So we lift our voices to worship God, 
                who is, who was, and who is to come.
One: Together, let us pray to the Alpha and the Omega.
Many: Eagerly we stand giving glory and power to the Lord, our God.

Opening Prayer 

We open our hearts, Gracious God, to you, as we begin this time of worship.  From the beginning to the end of time, you are Creator and Giver of Life.  

As one small part of your creation, we celebrate your steadfast gifts which fill the world. We give you thanks for all you provide. So tune our minds and help us focus our spirits to offer you the best of all we are, as we move toward the end this year and cycle into a new season.  Rule in us, not only today, but in every day which dawns.  In Christ we pray, AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (adapted from John 18)

Living in the United States, many eagerly proclaim our independence.  We are not officially designated into higher and lower class (or caste).  We drink in the stories of those who started with little or nothing, used their ingenuity, luck, and being in the “right place at the right time”, to make it to the top: Army recruit who became a General, ragamuffin who now owns the  profitable company, Hollywood waitstaff now in top demand as an actor.  

Yet today, we’re hearing about Jesus as Ruler.  This one?  Is this the same one born to parents not yet married, beginning life in a cave (or stable), turned refugee and then growing up to wander the countryside as a preacher/teacher/healer, with a curious band of disciples.  A RULER?

Perhaps it’s just this identity which calls us to Jesus.  This Jesus is the one we want to rule in our hearts, link us to the Creator, and challenge us to take our place as followers.  Jesus is the one who teaches his followers to be stewards of God’s many gifts; care-takers of what doesn’t actually belong to us.  We’re faced with Jesus’ challenges to “love your neighbor”, “feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison”.

Today, we have opportunity to bear witness to our own identity not as independent operators, but as followers of Jesus.  One way to do that is to share abundantly with others.  You may offer your gifts to support this congregation, to strengthen our connection to ____________, to provide care for _____________.  

It’s your move.  What will you do with this one opportunity to claim Jesus as Lord in your life?

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Bountiful God, 

As we move toward Thanksgiving, many of us eagerly anticipating time with family and friends, we take this moment to offer our thanks to you for all you have provided.  Please receive our gifts today, knowing they come in return, as signs and symbols of our daily lives.  Help us use these gifts to share Good News with those who struggle.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

Jesus faces Pilate, recognizing Pilate’s lack of comprehension.  Finally, Pilate asks “So you are a king?”, only to hear Jesus’ response: “my kingdom is not of this world.”

Not of this world, and yet, a place where we are each invited to come.  This table is set with gifts of bread and juice, emblems which connect us to Jesus’ body and blood.  We are made one as we share this loaf and cup: one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one body.

When we, who are many, share these gifts, we remember Jesus, and commit our lives once more to follow him.  As you eat and drink, will you once more claim your allegiance to this Ruler?