Christ the King Sunday – 22 Nov 2020: Ezekiel 34:11-20, Matthew25:31-46 ~ “as you did to the least among you”

Christ the King Sunday, 22 Nov 2020

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

Opening:

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.

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth,
when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,
you were doing it to me!’”
(Matthew 25:40)

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Jesus Shall Reign – Congregational singing
Grace Community Church – Sun Valley, California

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Prayer for Purity

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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A Reading from the Prophets: Ezekiel 34:11-20 (NLT)

The Good Shepherd

“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his scattered flock. I will find my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on that dark and cloudy day. I will bring them back home to their own land of Israel from among the peoples and nations. I will feed them on the mountains of Israel and by the rivers and in all the places where people live. Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice!

“And as for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to his people: I will judge between one animal of the flock and another, separating the sheep from the goats. Isn’t it enough for you to keep the best of the pastures for yourselves? Must you also trample down the rest? Isn’t it enough for you to drink clear water for yourselves? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? Why must my flock eat what you have trampled down and drink water you have fouled?

“Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will surely judge between the fat sheep and the scrawny sheep.

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Psalm 23 – Eden’s Bridge

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A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew25:14-30 (NLT)

The Final Judgment

“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

“Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’

“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

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The Least of These – Matt Maher

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Prayer:

+ For the elderly

Look with mercy, O God our Father, on all whose increasing years bring them weakness, distress, or isolation. Provide for them homes of dignity and peace; give them understanding helpers, and the willingness to accept help; and as their strength diminishes, increase their faith and their assurance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
_ Lord, show us how we can help.

+ For those with chronic disease

Heavenly Father, sustainer of our life and source of our hope: Comfort and relieve all who endure long-term illness or persistent handicap. Give your grace to all who minister to their needs, that they may be strengthened in their weakness and have confidence in your loving care; through him who knows our weakness and has shared our sorrows, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
_ Lord, show us how we can help.

+ For those in trouble

O merciful Father, you have taught us in your holy Word that you do not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men: Look with pity on the sorrows of your servants in trouble, remember them, O Lord, in mercy; nourish their souls with patience; comfort them with a sense of your goodness; lift up your countenance upon them; and give them peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
_ Lord, show us how we can help.

For the discouraged and downcast

O God, almighty and merciful, you heal the broken-hearted, and turn the sadness of the sorrowful to joy, Let your fatherly goodness be upon all whom you have made. Remember in pity all those who are this day destitute, homeless, elderly, infirm, or forgotten. Bless the multitude of your poor. Lift up those who are cast down. Mightily befriend innocent sufferers, and sanctify to them the endurance of their wrongs.

Cheer with hope all who are discouraged and downcast, and by your heavenly grace preserve from falling those whose poverty tempts them to sin. Though they be troubled on every side, suffer them not to be distressed; though they are perplexed, save them from despair. Grant this, O Lord, for the love of him who for our sakes became poor, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
_ Lord, show us how we can help.

+ For prisoners

O God, you forgive when we deserve punishment, and in your wrath you remember mercy: We humbly ask you, of your goodness, to comfort all prisoners. Give them a right understanding of themselves, and of your promises, that trusting wholly in your mercy, they may not place their confidence anywhere but in you.

Relieve the distressed; deliver the innocent; bring the guilty to repentance; and as you alone bring light out of darkness, and good out of evil, grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit they may be set free from the chains of sin, and brought to newness of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
_ Lord, show us how we can help.

+ For the recovery of those who are sick

Almighty and immortal God, giver of life and health: We implore your mercy for your servants, especially on those suffering the effects of the pandemic, that by your blessing upon them and upon those who minister to them with your healing gifts, they may be restored to health of body and mind, according to your gracious will, and may give thanks to you before your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
_ Lord, show us how we can help.

+ For the unrepentant

Merciful God, you desire not the death of sinners, but rather that they should turn to you and live; and through your only Son you have revealed yourself as the God who pardons iniquity. Have mercy on the unrepentant and those who do not believe. Awaken in them, by your Word and Holy Spirit, a deep sense of their sinfulness and peril. Take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of your Word.

Grant them to know and feel that there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which they must be saved, but only the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so bring them home and number them among your children, that they may be yours for ever; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
_ Lord, show us how we can help.

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Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven – Festival of Worship 2013
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles
Fred Bock Institute of Music at Fuller Seminary

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Closing – 1 Corinthians 15:25-28 (NLT)

Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.” (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.

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



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ, Life in Our Family

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