Listening for the Promise
Christ the King Sunday - November 26, 2017
To Know Him is to Love Him
“May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” - Ephesians 1:17
Most of us don’t like the idea of having a king. Many might love to be the king, but to have a king means that you clearly are not numero uno. If there is a king, and you’re not it, that means you are a subject. As a subject, you may be granted voice, but not vote. Sounds rather distasteful, eh? Indeed, America was founded to be expressly anti-king. Democracy was and is still our thing. So, what are we supposed to think about “Christ the King” Sunday?
If there has to be a king, you’d want at least to be related to him. That you could stomach. Being a son or daughter of the king could be good, right? You’d enjoy countless royal perks, and the smile of the sovereign would be upon you. You’d be in line to the throne, and, presumably, in the will!
Yet, to quell dissatisfaction among underlings, and to prevent possible coup attempts, the king would have to be exceptionally good. To the power of the throne, kindness must be added. The king must win your heart. If the king were like your loving father, then there might be peace in the Kingdom.
Christian, that’s your reality! By the Spirit’s “wisdom and revelation, you may know him better.” Joy in the Lord, and happiness in serving him, comes when we know him better. To know him is to love him.
Our king is worthy of all glory, laud and honor. Take the time to get acquainted. Think often about who he is. You might get started at this with some simple ABC’s. “O God, you are Almighty Benevolent Creator! Divine Eternal Father! Gracious Holy Immortal Jesus! King, Lord, Master!”
Got the picture? Tis wonderful to have Christ the King!
(Congregational responses are in bold print)
Prelude Mark Hurley, Organist
Call to Worship WP # 59
Welcome and Announcements
*Gathering Song ELW # 855
*Confession & Forgiveness (Pastor) ELW pg. 94-96
Blessed be the holy Trinity, one God, who forgives all our sin, whose mercy endures forever. Amen.
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Most merciful God, we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
Almighty God, in his mercy, has given his Son to die for us and, for his sake, forgives us all our sins. As a called and ordained minister of the Church of Christ, and by His authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*Greeting (Pastor) ELW pg. 147
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.
*Canticle of Praise (WA) “Glory to God…” ELW pg. 148-149
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to God’s people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
*Prayer of the Day (Pastor)
Let us pray…Almighty God, show your mercy to your humble servants, that we who put no trust in our own merits may not be dealt with according to the severity of your judgment, but according to your mercy; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Anthem Hymn 8:30AM Adult Choir ELW # 408
First Reading: (Worship Assistant) Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
The Shepherd God of Israel would seek out his flock and bring them home, into their own land. He would seek those that are lost, gone astray, injured or weak and bring them unto himself, where they would be fed and kept safe from harm.
11“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13And 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 ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. 16I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.
20“Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them: Behold, I, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep. 21Because you push with side and shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, till you have scattered them abroad, 22I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. 23And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. 24And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken.” The word of the Lord, thanks be to God.
Psalm: Psalm # 95 (Worship Assistant – read responsively)
The psalmist encouraged the congregation to sing songs of praise to the Lord, saying, “He is our God, and we are the people of his pasture.” He praised God’s wonderful works of creation, urging all to bow down in grateful worship.
Come, let us sing to the Lord; let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and raise a loud shout to him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the caverns of the earth, and the heights of the hills are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down, and bend the knee, and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.
Paul explained that by one man, Adam, all humans have died because of sin. By one man, Jesus, all also would be made alive through his resurrection. Everything comes in the proper order, Paul said. First Christ would bring home those who belong to him, then the end would come and all earthly authority would be destroyed.
20In fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. Word of God, word of life, thanks be to God.
(WA: “Please rise for the reading of the Gospel.”)
*Gospel Acclamation (sung) ELW pg. 151
Alleluia. Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Alleluia.
*Holy Gospel: (Pastor) The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, the 25th Chapter. Glory to you, O Lord. Matthew 25:31-46: Jesus spoke to his followers about the final judgment of God, saying that whenever they serve someone who is hungry or thirsty, visit the imprisoned, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger and so forth, they serve him. When they neglect to serve others, they are also neglecting to serve him. The life of discipleship is one that puts others ahead of self. This is the defining characteristic of righteousness, to serve those who are the “least.”
31Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34Then 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 foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” The gospel of the Lord, praise to you, O Christ.
Sermon Pastor John
*Hymn of the Day ELW # 870
(P): God has made us his people through our Baptism into Christ. Living together in trust and hope, we confess our faith.
I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the
He will come again 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 (Worship Assistant & Pastor)
(W): Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Another year in the church has ended, reminding us that our time in the present world will also end in you. Teach us to number our days, that we may live in the confidence that you reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever, the King of truth. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
(W): Heavenly Father, Jesus said that whatever we do to those who are the “least,” we also do to him. Make us generous in our words, actions, and with our resources, that we would follow Jesus in loving discipleship all our days. Let us not look past those in need or neglect those who are suffering, rather let us give of ourselves and trust that God will use us to care for his people. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
(W): Lord of the Sabbath, be with all of us this day that we would find rest and regeneration. Help us to hear and know you in our keeping of the Sabbath so that we might be renewed for work in your kingdom. each and every day. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
(W): Life-giving Spirit, transform our communities into places of welcome for those who have been shunned or marginalized. Help us to see in them the very presence of our Lord Jesus. Then by your power, send us forth with greetings of grace and peace on our lips and compassion and mercy in our hearts. Be with all who suffer. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
(P): Into your hands, almighty God, we commend all for whom we pray; trusting in your abundant mercy, through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.
*Peace: (Pastor) ELW pg. 152
The peace of Christ be with you always. And also with you.
Offering ELW pg. 152
Offering Anthem Organist or Choir
*Assembly Song: (Create in Me…) ELW # 188
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with your free Spirit.
*Offering Prayer: (Worship Assistant) ELW pg. 107
Let us pray…God of all creation, all you have made is good, and your love endures forever. You bring forth bread from the earth and fruit from the vine. Nourish us with these gifts, that we might be for the world signs of your gracious presence in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
*The Great Thanksgiving (Pastor) ELW pg. 152
The Lord be with you. And also with you. Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise.
*Preface Pastor John
*Response to Preface (sung) ELW pg. 153
Holy, holy, holy Lord, Lord God of pow’r and might, heav’n and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
*Words of Institution: (Pastor)
Holy, mighty, and merciful Lord, heaven and earth are full of your glory. In great love you sent to us Jesus, your Son, who reached out to heal the sick and suffering, who preached good news to the poor, and who, on the cross, opened his arms to all.
In the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
*The Lord’s Prayer: ELW pg. 154
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.
Communion (distribution & song) (sung) ELW pg. 154
Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; grant us peace, grant us peace.
Communion Hymn ELW # 494
*Table Blessing (Pastor)
The body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace. Amen.
*Post Communion Canticle: (sung) ELW # 209
Blessed be God, the source of all life, the word of salvation, the spirit of mercy. Blessed be God, the source of all life, the word of salvation, the spirit of mercy.
*Prayer after Communion: (WA) ELW pg. 114
Let us pray…O God, we give you thanks that you have set before us this feast, the body and blood of your Spirit and strengthen us to serve all in need and to give ourselves away as bread for the hungry, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
*Blessing: (Pastor) ELW pg. 114
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord’s face shine on you with grace and mercy. The Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace. Amen.
*Dismissal: (Worship Assistant) ELW pg. 115
Go in peace. Christ is with you. Thanks be to God.
*Sending Song ELW # 805
Postlude Mark Hurley, Organist
Flowers are given in celebration of Grace Hoilman’s Birthday by her Family.
Our Sympathy and prayers go to the family and friends of Jack Wheeler, who passed away on Wednesday, November 22nd. The viewing and funeral service will be held at Bruzdzinski’s Funeral Home in Essex. The viewing is today from 3pm to 6pm, and the funeral service will be on Monday November 27th at 1pm. The interment will be at Zion Church in Rosedale immediately following the service. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all!
For gals who are desiring to read & learn God’s word together… “Journey Sisters” bible study has resumed. We are meeting on 1st & 3rd Thursdays of every month…See you there!
WNALC Group will meet on Tuesday, November 21st at 7PM in the fellowship hall. All women are invite and encouraged to attend!
“Meet, Greet & Eat” Fellowship * Sundays 9:30 -10:45 am * a time to gather, get acquainted, talk about church events & have a bite too!…open to everyone!... your food & beverage donations support this weekly mission, thank you for your generosity… for volunteer training & commitment schedules or donation coordination, please contact Irene (443-465-9087)..Peace!
FROM OUR ORGANIST: The keyboard is back but still under repair. We are in need of donations to meet our additional service calls and adjustments from the repairs. Please give! A special envelope is in the Narthex. Thank you for your donations to our music ministry!
WNALC Group is collecting old, unwanted and broken cellphones. Every cellphone that we turn in to be recycled will send 2 calling cards to active service men and women in the field. There is a basket in the Narthex for your donations. Thank you for your support!
Birthday Dinner will be held at Jad’s Caddy Shack on Back River Neck Road on Thursday, December 21st at 6:30pm. If you plan to attend in December, please contact Pam Keller at 410-335-7226 by Wednesday, 12/20. Come join the fun! Get to know fellow parishioners on a different level! It does not have to be your birthday to attend.
Hurricane Harvey and Irma: We are continuing to collect items for Disaster Relief. Please see both lists posted in the Narthex! Thank you for your continued support of our disaster relief!
Hershey Bears Annual Hockey Game has been scheduled for Saturday, February 3rd at 7pm. The Bears will play the Charlotte Checkers. It is Faith & Family night and our tickets are in section 110 (yes, we are back to the lower level). The tickets are $20.50 per person and the first 5,000 in attendance will receive a free Bears baseball cap. Please contact Joe Hauer at email@example.com to reserve your tickets or for additional information.
Thankoffering Sunday is today. All proceeds will go to the St. Matthew WNALC group. A special envelope will be provided in next Sunday’s bulletin or please feel free to take one from the Narthex today.
Raffle Tickets on sale now! We will raffle off a Luther’s Rose blanket and The Case for Christianity book at our Christmas Concert. Tickets are available between services in the fellowship hall. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.
Christmas Organ Concert & Pot Luck Dinner will be held on Sunday, December 3rd at 3pm. Mark Hurley will showcase our favorite Christmas music is a “Pops and classic” program. A pot luck dinner will be served immediately following the concert. A free will offering will be collected. Everyone is invited!!
Christmas gifts for Hurricane Harvey and Irma victims. This year we are collecting gifts for the victims of the hurricanes that hit our south. Please pick up a star from the tree. There is no spending minimum or maximum. All gifts will go to the families of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma through our Disaster Relief Center. For more details, please see Maria Dobry.
Christmas Eve Service Schedule
Morning Traditional services will be held at 8:30am and 11am. Children’s Christmas Eve service will be held at 6:30pm. Christmas Eve Candlelight services will be held at 8:30pm and 11pm. All services will have fellowship in between. All are welcome to attend!
Annual Poinsettias Sale! Please help us decorate our Church Altar for Christmas by ordering one or more beautiful poinsettias. The cost this year is $7 per plant and you have a choice of red, pink, or white in color. All orders must be in by Sunday, December 10th. Envelopes are available in the Narthex until December 10th! Help spread some Christmas spirit! Thank you for your continued support.