Week 52, Sunday, Reign of Christ the King

The Lord reigns. This is not merely a statement of current events, but an abiding and unchanging truth. He has reigned from before time. Before there was time, God was king. He reigns over all his creation, both now and forever. He is mightier than even the raw unbridled power of the ocean. He has promised to restore all things, and he is trustworthy. He has both the power and the love to fulfill his promise. Truly, he is holy and he reigns forever.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation
O thou who art the hope of the world, hasten, we beseech thee, the coming of thy kingdom upon earth. Establish thy rule within us; enter into our minds with thy truth and dwell in our hearts with thy righteousness and compassion. Establish thy rule in our midst; enter into our homes, our schools and churches, our industry and commerce, all our cities and countries, that the world may be turned from the paths of destruction toward the shining city of God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ Ernest Fremont Tittle (Tittle, p. 84)

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

Te Deum Laudamus 
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Chronological Reading for the Day
Sunday: 1 John 4-5; 2 John; 3 John

Lectionary Readings
Psalm: Ps. 93
OT: Dan. 7.9-10, 13-14
Gospel: John 18.33-37
NT: Rev. 1.4-8

(Click here for all readings)
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Benediction 
God of power and love, you raised Jesus from death to life, resplendent on glory to rule over all creation. Free the world to rejoice in his peace, to glory in his justice, and to live in his love. Unite all humankind in Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

~ 404 (The Book of Common Worship, p. 394-395)

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Our Lord Eternal, your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Weekly Reflection on the Sovereign Love of God
In this alienated world the full life of the church is not yet completely realized. Her essential unity is fragmented. Her holiness is stained by apostasy. Her apostolicity is racked by heresies. Her catholicity is blocked from complete diffusion in all the world. These conditions may last until “the end of the age” (Matt. 13.40), while in the interim wheat and tares will grow tangled together (Matt. 13.30). But on that day the Lord will come to complete the struggling church. The church is actively awaiting that day, able to survive its darkest hours because of that hope. The faithful community desires his coming, fervently expects it, rejoices that God has promised to complete his purpose in history and make his victory finally known throughout the world.

~ Thomas C. Oden. Life in the Spirit: Systematic Theology, Vol. III.
San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992. pp. 419-20.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Lord Reigns, Psalm 93

Book Reading
Heine, Classical Christian Doctrine

Special Church Year Service
Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 25, 2021

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