Christ the King Sunday, 20 Nov: 2 Samuel 5:1-3; Psalm 122:1-5; Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43 ~ the victory of love

Jesus Christ, King of the Universe

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Today we worship Christ the King – wounded and resurrected – who promises us a place in Paradise.

Opening Prayer:

God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, You gave us Your Son, the beloved One who was rejected, the Savior who appeared defeated. Yet the mystery of His kingship illumines our lives. Show us in His death the victory that crowns the ages, and in His broken body the love that unites heaven and earth. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.

“Come, Christians, Join to Sing” – the London Philharmonic Orchestra


A Reading from the Old Testament: 2 Samuel 5:1-3 (NLT)
[The choosing of David as King of Israel in ancient times.]

Then all the tribes of Israel went to David at Hebron and told him, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, when Saul was our king, you were the one who really led the forces of Israel. And the Lord told you, ‘You will be the shepherd of my people Israel. You will be Israel’s leader.’”

So there at Hebron, King David made a covenant before the Lord with all the elders of Israel. And they anointed him king of Israel.

A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 122:1-5 (NLT)

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” And now here we are, standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is a well-built city; its seamless walls cannot be breached. All the tribes of Israel—the Lord’s people—make their pilgrimage here. They come to give thanks to the name of the Lord, as the law requires of Israel. Here stand the thrones where judgment is given, the thrones of the dynasty of David.

“Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem”


A Reading from the Letters: Colossians 1:12-20 (NLT)
[Jesus is given all the titles a king would have.]


Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.

He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.

He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.

He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body.

He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself.

He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 23:35-43 (NLT)
[On the cross, Jesus promises heaven to the good thief.]

The Good Thief on the Cross Jacopo Bassano (late 1500’s)
The Good Thief on the Cross
Jacopo Bassano (late 1500’s)

The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

“Jesus: Remember me” – Taize


Intercessory Prayer:

Sovereign God: In Jesus Christ, You have won for us the victory of love. Hear us now as we seek Your help to live and love as Your Kingdom people.

+ For church leaders everywhere, that they may be true servants after the example of Christ our King….  Lord, hear us.
+ For the Jewish people, gathered in Jerusalem and scattered abroad, that they may continue to grow in the love of Your name….  Lord, hear us.
+ For world leaders, that they may set aside their own self-interest and work for the good of all….  Lord, hear us.
+ For migrants and refugees of good will, that they may find compassion and peace…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who serve our communities, that they may not give in to discouragement…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people who suffer in mind or body, that the King of Calvary may be their strength…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who have died in Christ, that they, with the good thief, may find a place in Paradise already prepared for them…. Lord, hear us.

Lord God, King of the universe, You are the source of Your people’s joy! Hear our prayers through Christ our Lord. Amen.

“Ride On, King Jesus” – Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir



To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Timothy 1:17

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen