Hope Lutheran Church
Christ the King
Last Sunday After Pentecost
November 22, 2020
Grab your cup of coffee and join us at 9:15 am. Feel free to begin posting your prayer requests in the comments as soon as worship begins. (Congregational responses are in Bold)
Greeting (9:30 and chime)
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also with you.
Gathering Hymn: “The King of Love My Shepherd Is’” ELW 502
Prayer of the Day
Let us pray. O God of power and might, your Son shows us the way of service, and in him we inherit the riches of your grace. Give us the wisdom to know what is right and the strength to serve the world you have made, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Confession and Forgiveness
Blessed be the holy Trinity, ☩ one God,
whose steadfast love is everlasting,
whose creates, redeems, and sustains us and all of creation.
Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.
Silence is kept for reflection.
have mercy on us.
We confess that we are captive to sin
and cannot free ourselves.
We turn from your loving embrace
and go our own ways.
We pass judgement on one another
before examining ourselves.
We place our own needs before those of our neighbors.
We keep your gift of salvation to ourselves.
Make us humble, cast away our transgressions,
and turn us again to life in you
through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
God hears the cries of all who call out in need,
and through his death and resurrection,
Christ has made us his own.
Hear the truth that God proclaims:
Your sins are forgiven in the name of ☩ Jesus Christ.
Led by the Holy Spirit, live in freedom and newness
to do God’s work in the world.
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. 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.
Therefore, thus says the LORD GOD 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, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be ruler among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.
Word of God, Word of Life, Thanks be to God.
Come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving
and raise a loud shout to the LORD with psalms.
For you, LORD, are a great God,
and a great ruler above all gods.
In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
the heights of the hills are also yours.
The sea is yours, for you made it,
and your hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
For the LORD is our God,
and we are the people of God’s pasture and the sheep of God’s hand.
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
The holy gospel according to Matthew. Glory to you, O Lord.
[Jesus said:] “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 dominion 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 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 the devil’s 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.”
Word of God, Word of Life, Thanks be to God.
Sermon- “Shepherd and King” by Deacon Margy Schmitt Ajer
Hymn of the Day– “Crown Him With Many Crowns” ELW 855
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living 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.
Prayers of Intercession
(Remember to post your prayers on the YouTube chat, so that others can also include them in prayer. Feel free to email Deacon Margy if you have private prayer requests.)
On this the last Sunday of the church year, let us pray to see God’s reign in the church, in the world, and with all in need, responding to each petition with the words “In mercy, receive our prayers.”
A brief silence.
Great God, we praise you for sustaining the church through another year of grace. Continue to shepherd your people with your tender care. Sustain the social ministries of the body of Christ, and increase ecumenical sharing of opportunities for ministry. You are the great and holy God: In mercy, receive our prayers.
Sustain the world that you have made, the heights of the hills, the seas and the dry land. Guard the animals during the winter months, and direct our use of creation to provide for the needs of all. Be a source of strength and refuge for all weathering severe storms. You are the great and renewing God: In mercy, receive our prayers.
Bring peace to every place where conflict rages, that your reign may be honored throughout the world. Be with the people of Armenia, Ethiopia, and Hong Kong. Bless the work of the United Nations and of agencies that promote the wellbeing of all peoples. You are the great and peacemaking God: In mercy, receive our prayers.
Bring a peaceful conclusion to the American national elections. Bless all the newly elected officials with a love of concord and a desire for justice. Turn us away from historic prejudices, and show us your image in each of our neighbors. You are the great and reconciling God: In mercy, receive our prayers.
Visit American homes on Thanksgiving Day. When we are separated from loved ones, embrace us with your care. Keep gatherings safe. Even in our reduced celebrations, give us voices to offer thanks to you for your perpetual blessings. You are the great and generous God: In mercy, receive our prayers.
We beg you to end the earth’s pandemic. Bring healing to the millions who are suffering from the coronavirus – any who are sick, dying, despairing, isolated, unemployed, and all exhausted medical workers. Guide researchers in developing a vaccine. You are the great and healing God: In mercy, receive our prayers.
Show your loving power to all who are in need.
Equip us to feed the hungry,
to provide clean water for the thirsty,
to welcome the stranger,
to clothe the naked,
to care for the sick,
to visit the prisoners.
We pray especially for. . . .
You are the great and gracious God: In mercy, receive our prayers.
We appeal to you, Sovereign God, we who are like both the sheep and the goats, and we ask that in compassion you will hear the prayers of our own hearts. You are the great and loving God: In mercy, receive our prayers.
We praise you for all the saints who have died in the faith, especially this week for the hymnwriter Isaac Watts, who gave us words to praise the reign of Christ. At the end of all things, bring us together with all the saints into your kingdom of joy. You are the great and eternal God: In mercy, receive our prayers.
Receive our prayers, O triune God: Father of glory, Lord Jesus Christ, and Spirit of wisdom, now and forever.
The peace of Christ is with you. (share the peace with someone now- text, next to you, or comment in the chat box).
Please visit www.hoperiverside.org/give to place your offering digitally. This link takes you directly to our tithe.ly giving page. It is a safe and secure church giving site, and all of your information will remain confidential.
Thank you for supporting God’s work in the world.
Let us pray. God of abundance and growth, all creation is yours, and your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens. Water and word, wine and bread; these are signs of your abundant grace. Nourish us through these gifts, that we might proclaim your steadfast love in our communities and in the world, through Jesus Christ, our strength and our song, Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
~We Are Sent~
Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. God the Creator ☩ Jesus, the Christ, and the Holy Spirit, the comforter, bless you and keep you in eternal love. Amen.
Go in peace. Christ is with you.
Thanks be to God.
We Embody the Presence of Christ
It is possible that the biggest barrier to accepting this as our lifelong vocation is not a lack of faith but a lack of imagination.
On this final Sunday of the liturgical year, we receive a parable from Jesus challenging and inspiring our imaginations to grasp our whole vocation that is celebrated in baptism: to embody Christ in every moment and to engage every part of our world as Christ’s redeemed creation.
The parable of the sheep and the goats has sometimes been used to instill fear of God’s judgment. However, it is possible that Jesus’ point here is to urge his disciples to share God’s generous saving grace with all. Jesus’ parables consistently offer a simple setting and story, but behind them lie a world of rich meaning that takes a lifetime to unpack. For this reason, Jesus’ parables are important texts for the postmodern church, which is hungry for story, for connection, and for meaning for our faithful lifelong questions.
With shepherding texts from Ezekiel and the Psalms as well as Ephesians, an epistle written to build faith, we have a constellation of texts that make the shape of God’s intimate—even incarnational—love of creation. The parable even suggests that being merely intentional about ministry in the name of Jesus is not the point. After all, both “sheep” and “goats” groups are equally shocked at the news that Jesus was present in those relationships involving thirst, imprisonment, and so forth. Instead, Jesus seems to invite us to wonder what’s at the deepest foundation of our presence and purpose—and perhaps even walk away faithfully bewildered at the possibilities of God’s kingdom being practiced on earth as it is in heaven.
What if we really do embody the presence of Christ?
Compassion fatigue occurs when people feel overwhelmed by the need in the world. With access to massive amounts of information, some days it seems there is no end to the cries of the needy. One response is to stop everything, ignore the cries, and do nothing. This is a feeling many people can relate to at one time or another. Churches have similar experiences with so many good and worthwhile organizations to support. One response is to be shallow and broad, to give a little bit to everyone. Other groups chose a narrow and deep approach, investing significantly in just one or two causes or organizations hoping to make a significant difference. When a congregation has a clear sense of its mission it can more easily say “yes” to some and “no” to others. This is one response to compassion fatigue.
I’m writing because I want to share an exciting opportunity with you. Our ministry is partnering with ELCA World Hunger to raise funds for our work. With the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and around the world impacting how we address hunger in our communities, we need your support now more than ever.
ELCA World Hunger is kickstarting our fundraiser with a $500 Daily Bread Matching Grant. With the help of friends and supporters like you, we can raise $500 or more to match the grant – but we only have two weeks to do it. Will you make a donation to ELCA World Hunger today to help us meet our goal?
This will help our ministry serve our neighbors and truly provide daily bread.
Please click the link below to visit our page and donate today. Every gift makes a difference.
Thank you for your support!
Hope Lutheran Church
Thank you for your support of ELCA World Hunger. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-638-3522