CHRIST THE KING SUNDAY 26TH NOVEMBER 2023

November 22, 2020 – Christ The King Sunday | Haymarket Church

SENTENCE FROM SCRIPTURE
The Lord is a great God, and a great king above all gods.

OPENING HYMN

GREETING

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen.

COLLECT FOR PURITY

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open,

all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden:

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.

SUMMARY OF THE LAW

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:

The first commandment is this:

“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

There is no other commandment greater than these.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

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CONFESSION

God is love and we are God’s children.

There is no room for fear in love.

We love because God loved us first.

Let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

God our Father, we confess to you

and to our fellow members in the Body of Christ

that we have sinned in thought, word and deed,

and in what we have failed to do.

We are truly sorry.

Forgive us our sins,

and deliver us from the power of evil,

for the sake of your Son

who died for us, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

ABSOLUTION

God, who is both power and love,

forgive you and free you from your sins,

heal and strengthen you by the Holy Spirit,

and raise you to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.

GLORIA
sung by Douglas Byers

COLLECT

Almighty and everlasting God

whose will it is to restore all things

in the kingdom of your well- beloved Son:

mercifully grant

that the peoples of the earth

now divided and enslaved by sin,

may be freed and brought together

under his most gracious rule;

through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen

PROCLAIMING & RECEIVING GOD’S WORD

FIRST READING
EZEKIEL 34:11-16, 20-24
read by Kate Lidwell

St. Phil's Daily Bible Readings: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

God, the True Shepherd

For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.  I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land.  I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 

Muslims | Journey To Hope

I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

SECOND READING
EPHESIANS 1: 15-23
read by Margaret Morton

Knowing God's Will and Walking Worthily of the Lord to Live Christ

Paul’s Prayer

 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him,  so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.  God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

GRADUAL HYMN

GOSPEL READING
MATTHEW 25: 31-46
read by Rev Steven Ballard

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St Matthew chapter 25 beginning at verse 31

Glory to Christ our Saviour

The Judgment of the Nations

 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.  Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’  

Who We Talk About When We Talk About Jesus | - Covenant Christian Church

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’  Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;  for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me. Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’  Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Give thanks to the Lord for his glorious gospel.

Praise to Christ our Lord

REFLECTION

Israel and Palestine heading for 'uncontainable' crisis, UN chief warns |  Gaza | The Guardian

Recently the scenes on our TV and computer screens have been horrific. We have witnessed young babies and children struggling to survive in war zones and the horror of what we have seen is sickening in its inhumanity to one another. Our passage today challenges our behaviour and highlights how we are to treat one another, focussing especially on the weak and vulnerable. This passage speaks into our own priorities and seeks to exhort us to do good works.

Our passage opens with a picture of the judgement at the end of the world. It is taking place in a royal heavenly court, complete with angels and glorious throne. There is a certain amount of suspense in it. Ingrained in human thinking is the connection between finishing and evaluation. Although the tender ego in each of us fears judgement, we know that it must happen. The fact of judgement is a given.

The Effect of a Final Judgment of Eviction in Florida/BrianKowalLaw

Some people do not believe in a final judgement for they believe that God, who is love, will not separate people one from the other and that all will be allowed to enter into his nearer presence and dwell with him forever. However, this concept, known as universalism, is ill founded for it denies people’s right to choose to love God or not, and it refutes countless passages in Scripture that speak of a final judgement.

Even in our Creed which we say every Sunday, it says: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.” So, judgement is inevitable but what we are not at all clear about is the criteria of judgement. What principles and norms govern the evaluation? What according to the Son of Man makes life a success and what makes life a failure?

Interestingly these criteria may come as a bit of a shock, but the criteria are not new nor are they something that has been recently formulated. On the contrary the criteria about entering the kingdom was envisioned at the foundation of the world. The criteria is how we treat others and show love and compassion to them.

People’s basic human needs have to be taken care of, before any kind of eternal life with Christ is possible. It is not enough to worship God and to come to church. As Scripture says: Faith without works is dead. Mother Teresa often said that the Gospel can be summarized in five words; ‘you- did- it-unto- me’.

Love One Another (Guest Post) | Janet Sketchley

These humble words, each not exceeding four letters of the alphabet, carry the strongest message not only of Christian almsgiving but love in action. Meeting these human needs is something instinctively we do in all manner of ways, for no other reason than we see the hurt and distress of others and we long to help and journey with them. In reaching out to the weak and the vulnerable we are entertaining Christ himself.

It is interesting to note that sheep are praised for the simplest of actions. There are no records of heroism, no stories of conquest, no great trials or suffering, no marvellous triumphs over disaster, no feat so imaginatively daring- just simple actions, that are within the capacity of all of us. These actions are the simple response to those who pay attention to what happens in our world and who move to meet the needs that confront them.

Biggest ever study of food banks warns use likely to increase | Food banks  | The Guardian

Sadly, with food banks, refugees, homelessness, hidden poverty, and debt to mention a few of the needs that are here in Dumfries, Christ’s words speak to us poignantly today about our priorities, and also, about the consequences, if we fail to reach out to help.

This help is not just to do with practical giving, but it is more concerned about how we show love to one another. One Biblical scholar wrote the latter part of this scripture passage in the following way.

I was hungry for a smile, and you gave it to me. I was hungry for a word of encouragement, and you praised me. I was hungry for a word of appreciation, and you thanked me.

I was thirsty for a word of recognition, and you took notice of me. I was thirsty for a little companionship, and you stopped to chat with me.

I was a stranger and you made me feel welcome.

I was naked for the want of self- esteem, and you clothed me with self- worth.

I was sick with doubt and worry and with your cheerful attitude you lightened my load.

I was wounded by failure and disappointment, and by your supportive attitude you healed me.

I was a prisoner of loneliness and through your friendship you released me.

I was homeless for want of tenderness and affection, and you embraced me. I was homeless for want of love and acceptance, and you took me into your heart.

All of this communicates that it is not so much about giving things as giving ourselves – giving of our time, energy, and love. In this way we will serve Christ and build up his kingdom, and in the evening of our lives, we will be judged on love.

This does not mean as some suppose that salvation is based solely on our love for others and that salvation is through our good works. No salvation is only through Christ and to deny that is to deny Christ’s work and sacrifice on the cross. However, salvation is evidenced by the good works we do.

Faith Without Works is Dead - James 2:14-26 Bible Study

If we are in Christ, then his Spirit is working within us, and we cannot help but do good works and deeds for others. When our actions are proactive, the Spirit is active within us. When our actions are uncalculated the Spirit is exerting influence. We act because we feel compelled to- we can do no other. Our intentions are pure and genuine. There is no ulterior motive.

The gospel spells it out: if we give to those who will give back and lend to those who repay us, and do good to those who will do good to us, what grace is in that? This type of reciprocity is predictable and ungraced. As the gospel says even sinners do this.

However, there is a universal type of caring action, which does not regard the status of the person cared for or their potential to return in kind either now, in the near or far future. This type of caring work through the Spirit is unobtrusive, seeking no reward and no glory. It is an act of pure love.

Serving The Servant King - YouTube

You see, that is how we serve Christ the King – not by serving or loving power or the powerful, but by serving and loving the weak, the poor, the oppressed, those who are hurting and hungry and broken and alone and in need, the least among us. The prophet Isaiah says, “Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon” By serving the least among us -those who society views as the least among us- we are drawn away from the temptation to power and pride, and we are drawn closer to Christ Jesus who spent his life standing in solidarity with the poor, the broken, and the oppressed. If we want to be close to Christ, we have to be close to them.

The goats, those at his left hand, were cast away because they ignored the hungry and the sick and the poor and the hurting and the lonely. They did not care for them or actively love them. Their lives did not bear the fruit of their beliefs. It’s so easy to focus on ourselves, on our own needs and desires, and turn a blind eye to the needs of others. But to do so, in the language of the passage, we run the risk of being a goat?

25th “thing” achieved: 6. Perform 40 Random Acts of Kindness – 40 things…

How can we avoid being like the goats? It is simple -we are to love and care for those in need; we are to do small, simple acts of love and kindness for the least of these our brothers and sisters. Using Mother Theresa’s words “we do it unto them.” If we were all to do this then the horrors on our screens would disappear and we would have heaven on earth. Through our small acts of loving kindness, we make manifest the grace of God and the salvation that we have experienced, and we bear witness to the rule and reign of Christ the King in this world and in our lives. Amen

THE CREED

Christ The Savior Lutheran Church

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

the only Son of God,

God from God,

Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made,

of one substance with the Father.

Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation

he came down from heaven;

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

he suffered death and was buried.

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;

he ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit,

the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father.

With the Father and the Son,

he is worshipped and glorified.

He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

We look for the resurrection of the dead,

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Prayer Requests – Baildon Methodist Church

PRAYERS

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory

we pray week in, week out,

that your kingdom come,

and your will be done.

It’s easy to say the words,

far harder to mean them,

for they are concerned finally

not just with you but with us.

Help us to understand that

your kingdom is not just in the future,

but something that begins within us, here and now,

and so help us to recognise our role in bringing it nearer,

through the love we show,

the care we display,

and the service we offer

to the hungry, the thirsty, the broken hearted and the downtrodden.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

PRAYER FOR THE HOMELESS, POOR AND HUNGRY

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory

we pray for the church throughout the world

asking you to forgive us for the divisions

that separate us

and to heal the wounds

that those divisions have caused.

We pray that the church, Christ’s body, may be united

and strengthened by Christ himself

who holds all things together and has first place in everything.

We lift to you the persecuted church throughout the world,

and pray for Amnesty International and other agencies

who seek to rescue those imprisoned for their faith

and negotiate better practices with political leaders.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven

Eastern Hills Community Church

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory

we pray for our world

and for an end to all that frustrates your purpose.

We think of those in countries racked by conflict,

famine, disease, and poverty.

Our thoughts turn especially to Ukraine and Russia,

to Israel and Palestine, and so we pray

for a vision of mutual respect and love

a desire for peace-making,

a willingness to be reconciled,

and a determination to live in harmony and stability.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory,

we pray for the unemployed and homeless,

the sick and suffering,

the lonely and unloved,

the disabled and disadvantaged.

We lift to you those that we know

that are struggling with health issues, stress,

depression and anxiety in the quiet of our hearts.

Draw near to those we have named

bringing your strength, comfort and peace.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Mother Teresa quote: I still think that the greatest suffering is being  lonely...

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory,

we pray for those who work,

to build a more just and loving world,

all who strive to bring help and healing to those in need,

and those who support the weak and vulnerable in society.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Why It's Important Helping Others Without Expectation

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory,

We pray for agencies that help and support others,

thinking especially this morning of Christian Aid, First Base,

Bethany Christian Trust, and Aberlour Children’s Charity.

We are mindful too of pressure groups,

other charities, churches, politicians,

police and members of armed forces

these and so many others, who in different ways,

contribute to the fulfilment of your purpose.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

The King Of Glory

Lord Jesus Christ, King of Glory

we look forward to the day,

when you will establish justice between the nations

and there will be an end to suffering, darkness, and death.

Until then, help us to commit ourselves to your service

and to work for your glory,

so that we can honestly say and truly mean.

Your kingdom come, your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those+

who sin against us.

Do not bring us

to the time of trial+

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours,

now and forever. Amen.

HYMN

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BLESSING

The peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of His son Jesus Christ our Lord: and the blessing of God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen

HYMN

Welcome

St John the Evangelist, Dumfries, is a parish of the Scottish Episcopal Church also serving Methodist parishioners locally.

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Notices

Contemporary Service

Contemporary Service

The Contemporary Service is at 6pm, on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, followed by refreshments in the hall.

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St John's Church

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Everyone is very welcome to come along to Choral Evensong for Lent, this coming Sunday 3rd March, 6pm, at St John’s Church, Newall Terrace, Dumfries DG1 1LW, sung by the

St John's Church

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Everyone is very welcome to come along to Choral Evensong for Lent, this coming Sunday 3rd March, 6pm, at St John's Church, Newall Terrace, Dumfries DG1 1LW, sung by the

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Sunday 25th February 2024 is our Eucharistic Service at 11:00am! You are most welcome to come along to our service. Be great to see you! Contemporary service is on Sunday

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Booking is necessary to attend the Pamper Session on Thursday 14th March starting at 3.45pm until 6pm, in St John’s Church Hall, Lovers’ Walk, Dumfries, DG1 1LW. For more information