To let Christ reign

The Celebration of the Gospel
November 26, 2017 —The Sunday of Reign of Christ Our Sovereign

Christ is seated at God’s right hand in the heavenly places,
above all rule and authority and power and dominion.

Ephesians 1.20-21

_____We Gather as the Body of Christ______

Chorale Prelude On “Now Thank We All Our God“ Johann Cruger, arr: Robert Lau

[As we listen to the music we quiet our minds and bodies,
listen for our hearts’ deepest desires,
and become present to the Holy One who is lovingly present for us.

Leader: Creator God, you reign over all the universe with love and justice.
All: Glory! We thank you with love.
Christ, you reign over all human history with mercy and grace.
Glory! We thank you with love.
Holy Spirit, you reign in our hearts with beauty and power.
Glory! We thank you with love. Alleluia!

* SONG Come, Ye Thankful People, Come Blue hymnal # 694, vv. 1, 2, 4


__________We Attend to the Word________

Praise the Lord! Ye Heavens Adore Him Arr. Benjamin Harlan.
You are invited to join, when directed:

Worship, honor, glory, blessing, Lord, we offer unto Thee.
Young and old, Thy praise expressing, In glad homage bend the knee.
All the saints in heav’n adore Thee.  We would bow before Thy throne.
As Thine angels serve before Thee, So on earth Thy will be done

PRAYER      Christ the King    Blue Hymnal # 721

OLD TESTAMENT Ezekiel 34.11-24
[God has a harsh word for those who live in greed and promises to shepherd us and truly care for us and enable us to live in harmony.]

Thus says the Sovereign Yahweh: 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. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says Yahweh. 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.

As for you, my flock, thus says God: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats: Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet? Therefore, God says to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep. I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, Yahweh, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, Yahweh, have spoken.

PSALTER Psalm 100
[A simple song of praise to God, celebrating God’s care: we are God’s sheep.[

Make a joyful noise to the Holy One, all the earth.
Worship Yahweh with gladness;
come into God’s presence with singing.
Know that the Holy One is God.
It is God that made us, and we are God’s;
we are God’s people, and the sheep of God’s pasture.
Enter God’s gates with thanksgiving,
and God’s courts with praise.
Give thanks to God, bless God’s name.
For Yahweh is good; God’s steadfast love endures forever,
and God’s faithfulness to all generations.

NEW TESTAMENT Ephesians 1.15-23
[Paul prays that we may be given the wisdom to clearly see God’s grace and power. God has put that power in us—the same power by which God raised Christ from the dead. In that power Christ is the head of the Church, which is Christ’s body; and in that power Christ rules all Creation.]

I pray that the God of our Sovereign Jesus Christ,
the Father and Mother of glory,
who in Jesus has embodied among us
the love that creates and orders our lives
and makes them good and beautiful,
may awaken in you deep awareness
of God’s presence and love.
With the eyes of your heart enlightened
may you have the hope God has for you;
may you live in wonder and trust
of the gifts we all receive as God’s Beloved;
may you come more deeply to trust
the immeasurable power of God’s love.
It is love that raised Christ from the dead.
Christ’s love is the power that orders the universe,
that rules over all human dominion
and all realms before and after humans,
in the visible world and the unseen.
All things are subject to the sovereignty of Love.
And we, the church, are the Body of that love,
love that fills everything, and contains everything.

GOSPEL Matthew 25.31-46
[Jesus describes God’s final judgment based not on our morality or faith, but how we treat the poor. God does not just care about the poor; God is among the poor. To obey the sovereign of the Empire of Grace, we share the ruler’s passion and compassion for the poor.]

At the appointed time the Human One will come in glory, with all the angels, and sit on the glorious throne, with all the nations gathered below. Then the Ruler of All will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, putting the sheep on the right and the goats on the left. Then the ruler will say to those on the right, “Come, you that are blessed by my Abba God, inherit the realm 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.”

Then those who did justice will answer, “Beloved, 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 ruler will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these my sisters and brothers, you did it to me.”

Then the ruler will say to those on the left, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and the fallen 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, “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 the ruler 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 just into eternal life.”


SONG Love, Reign in My Heart Steve G-H

Beloved, you who guard and guide and give for every need,
reign in my heart, O Sovereign Christ; direct each thought and deed.

O Sovereign Love, my root, my sun, my purpose and my peace,
I spurn the world’s vain, anxious rule, and trust your Law of Grace.

The Empire of your justice, God, with mercy’s clear command
shall be my home; my loyalty is to no lesser land.

Reign in my heart, O Christ, my Rule. In faith I am compelled
to serve you, who by love alone have conquered all the world.

World Methodist Social Affirmation Blue hymnal # 886

* SONG Jesus Shall Reign Blue hymnal # 157, vv. 1, 5

[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]
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.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen.

____ We Are Sent in Ministry to the World____

OFFERING OUR GIFTS Including Native American Ministries Sunday Offering
Adagio – J. S. Bach, arr: Lani Smith

* OFFERING SONG Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow Blue hymnal #95

Gracious God, we give you our lives, symbolized in these gifts. Receive them with love, bless them with grace and use them according to your will. By your Spirit in us form us as citizens of your Realm, obedient to your law of grace, eager to work for justice in this world, in the name of Christ. Amen.


* SONG Bring Forth the Kingdom Black hymnal #2190

RESPONSE We stand and sing to our neighbors:
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you my friends.
Go and share the love of God, love that never ends.

POSTLUDE    Jesus Shall Reign!   Tune: DUKE STREET, arr: Douglas E. Wagner

[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]

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