Christ the King, Year A
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Scripture (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):
Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources for each individual pericope:
Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal
276-We gather together
234 – Crown him with many crowns
17 – O worship the King
91/92 – All Hail the power of Jesus’ name
711 – O Day of peace that dimly shines
387 – Bread of the world, in mercy broken
429-You satisfy the hungry heart
More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.
Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
On Matthew 25:31-46
Here, O our Lord, come sheep and goats,
mingled and gathered as we are.
Right hand and left are we assigned,
restless and bated evermore.
Words are arising to our ears,
calling out all our steady ways,
times of our notice, our neglect,
all for the least, and you, O Christ.
How we attended we forgot,
all was as if it were the same.
Here, our surprise astounds our voice
for we have been and done each day.
Now, in the face of your design,
we, baffled, honor your desire.
How is it now we answer love
in your directing sacrifice.
LM Suggested tune: Duke Street
Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:
Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent). A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin. Where practical, these may be offered here as well. You may also want to visit http://lectionarypsalms.org/
This week: Psalm 100 is on p. 752 and see also Call to Worship
Concerning the Following Items: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor. If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention. No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.
Call to Worship (from Psalm 100)
L: Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
P: Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing.
L: Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his;
P: We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
L: Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to God, bless his name.
P: For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Invocation or Prayer of Approach
O God, you are infinite, eternal and unchangeable, glorious in holiness, full of love and compassion, abundant in grace and truth. All your works praise you in all places of your dominion and your glory is revealed in Jesus Christ our savior, therefore we praise you, blessed and holy trinity, one god, for ever and ever (praying as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
God of overwhelming mercy, you have claimed each generation of people as your family, fellow workers, and heirs of your grace. From the wealth of your storehouses an endless stream of love, mercy, and wisdom has washed over your people. Wave upon wave of endless light sweeps over us. How great are your storehouses, O God, how vast, how varied your gifts! In this hour enable us to open our hearts and receive your gifts. We praise you for the treasure of your love poured out for us and for all, in a thousand ways, through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
God, you call us into your holy place – this solemn assembly. Let our hearts be made full of praise, our eyes full of wonder at your mercies, and our lips quick to tell of your blessings to us in your son Jesus Christ our Sovereign Lord. Let our praise be for the guidance of your hand and the righteousness with which you execute justice, that we might be your presence to our broken and hurting world. This we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Almighty and wonderful God. We enter your courts with thanksgiving and praise, knowing that you have made us, and remembering we are loved. We have come to praise your mighty acts, to offer our petitions, and celebrate remembrance. Let us know your guarding presence, as sheep with their shepherd, as we seek to honor you for all your good works; this we pray through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)
Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions
How vast and deep is your love O God, for us and for all the world. As we give you thanks for the beauty of creation and for the gift of life, we turn to you for strength and guidance to help those of our world in need of care and healing.
We pray for our community, our nation and world that peace and justice might be made known. We pray for our families and friends, especially those who are hurting, sick, grieving or alone. We pray for our own burdens and needs, both spoken and unspoken…
We yield our lives to you as we offer our prayers in the strong and saving name of Jesus. Amen.
God of Creation, God of Wonder, hear this offering of prayer and praise as a gift from our thankful hearts. We thank you for the wonders all around us. For grains of sand, the smell of rain falling on dry ground, for the shifting of the seasons and the sound of laughter. We thank you God for one another – for the joys and struggles of relationships that nurture us and help us to grow. God, we thank you for your eternal presence in our midst and for the good news of your deep abiding love for all of creation.
Even as we give thanks, we lift up the concerns that burden us this day. We ask your peace and blessing on all those we have named in this place today and all whose names and circumstances remain in the safe sanctuary of your Spirit’s care. We pray for all who are suffering in body, mind or spirit and for all who provide care for the needs of others. We pray for the lonely and the despairing…for those who struggle with addiction…for those who feel trapped in situations of abuse…for those who making difficult decisions in life… God we pray for your church and its mission in the world.
Bless all of your children God, and pour your Spirit upon us, bringing healing, comfort and strength wherever it is needed. All this we ask in the name of the One who calls us forward in faith, Jesus Christ our Sovereign Lord (who taught us to pray, saying “Our Father…”)
Gracious God, who supplies us with every blessing in abundance, lift up our hearts in gratitude and thanksgiving. Open us to remember the gifts we seldom notice, the bounty we take for granted, the rich possibilities you provide. For bread without scarcity, for water that is pure, for houses to live in and friends to enjoy, we give you humble thanks.
We lift to you all those whose lives are linked with our own. We remember (_______and) all those whom we name to you in silence. [SILENCE IS KEPT] Touch their lives with your grace and your peace, that they would know your love in these days of illness and unknowing and struggle.
In the days ahead, may we be more aware of the bounty for which we need to be grateful and of all the little things that make us who we are which we often overlook or ignore. Help us to be more mindful every day of your goodness and love.
For beauty and bounty, for healing and hope, for the gospel of our salvation, we lift our voices in praise to you, Creator God, in Christ’s name.
Prayers from Common Worship*
Collect Eternal Father, whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven that he might rule over all things as Lord and King: keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of peace, and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Post Communion Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by you be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. This Post Communion may be used as the Collect at Morning and Evening Prayer during this week. Additional Collect God the Father, help us to hear the call of Christ the King and to follow in his service, whose kingdom has no end; for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, one glory.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all
things in your well beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord
of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth,
divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together
under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)
In all our busyness, O God,
we clamor after images of images of ghosts,
escaping all review.
At hand are ever those whose need
illumines our capacity
within unknowing’s reach.
Begin in us the welcome of the want
that harrows hears and teases hopes
and introduces us to you
in Jesus Christ.
Service of Table
Offertory / Invitation to Give
Every time we come to the table, we are called to share in the offering. Christ’s body and blood was and is the offering of all offerings. That alone ought to appeal to us to give. Our giving will aid others in remembering him and give them the good news of life in Christ.
If our offering enables us to feed the hungry, give a drink of clean water to the thirsty, welcome a stranger, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, then Christ himself will bless that offering. Hear him say, “Come, blessed ones of my Father, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for as you did it for one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.”
We are a blessed people. In this season of Thanksgiving, it is good that we recall God’s many gifts in our lives, and grace which God has given us to help us use them all for good. As we ready ourselves to join the great Feast of Thanksgiving, a feast which God has made for us in Christ Jesus, let us consider just how welcome we are to receive of it – all of us – and to share the gifts of it for the sake of the world. For the gifts of God are many, and they are made real in this meal, and in the family of God gathered around it. Let us bring forth our tithes and offerings.
May these gifts bring light to those who walk in darkness, hope to those who live in despair, and justice to those who are oppressed. Grant to each giver a sense of participation in the most important opportunity of all time: to share your love with the world. To this end we dedicate our offerings and ourselves. Amen.
We would crown you as our Sovereign, O Christ, as you have crowned the year with mercy and kindness in the giving of yourself for the sake of the world. May our lives, expressed in these offerings, and may the ministries of your beloved church, truly proclaim what our hearts have believed: that you are our Lord who will reign forever and ever. Amen.
Invitation to the Table
The celebration of the Christian Year comes to an astounding and world-changing ending as we hear Christ’s call to live out the gospel of Jesus in real and practical ways. We are, in Christ, called to feed those who hunger, and by his self-giving example have learned just how costly that calling can be. All who would live among his flock are likewise called to remember the price that Christ our Sovereign Lord has paid for the salvation of the world, and to bring forth in this present age, in sign and in deed, the hope of life in God’s abundance. We show forth that abundance in this breaking of bread together, and look forward to his coming in final victory to be known as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Let us come to the Table of Christ in faith.
Prayer of Thanksgiving (Prayers for Bread and Cup)
(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)
Blessed are you, Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe, for you provide for us this bread and wine – fruit of the earth and work of human hands. May it be for us the body and blood of Christ, as we who gather at your table seek to be strengthened by your presence. Fill us with the power of your Holy Spirit, that as those who would be numbered among your faithful children we may bring forth in our lives and our communities the manifest reality of your reign which has no end, for we pray in the name of Christ. Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever.
Holy One, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you. Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another. We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that in sharing them we may discern your presence which becomes our life. We thank you for your anointed one, Jesus, who through his life, crucifixion, death and resurrection lived fully the promise of redemptive wholeness that is available to all who would obey your creating will, and who now lives evermore to make intercession for us. We celebrate his gifts, we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always.
- It is always right and just to praise you, God our Father, for you have always sought and found us. As we give you praise for Jesus Christ, the shepherd and guardian of our souls, we offer thanks for this bread, which is to be for us his body. May we who receive him from your hands be encouraged to lives of thankful praise, and be empowered by your Spirit to offer him to the world which you have redeemed through your own great love.
- This cup, O God, we offer to your service. Send down your Holy Spirit, we pray, that as we receive your gifts – bread broken and wine poured – our lives might be made whole, and be offered to you anew for faithful service. This we pray in the name of Christ our Lord and King.
Conclusion: Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.
If not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’”
Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service. Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.
Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.
You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.
Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University.
Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2016. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010. The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992. The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010. http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary
Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.
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