Christ the King + November 22, 2020

Prayer of the Day

O God of Creation, your Son restores all that is good, and roots out all that threatens your vision. His living, dying and rising redeem and inspire us. May we learn to see His face in every person we encounter, serving them as your beloved. This wisdom and grace we ask through Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

A Reading from the book of the prophet Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

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 prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.

We pray Psalm 95:1-7a

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.

A Reading from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians

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.

The Holy Gospel, according to St. Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus said to the disciples: “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.’ 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.”

Sermon

The parables continue! And once again we have this simple and clear cut judgement between the “good” and the “accursed”. But what of those who began their lives with charity and compassion for their fellow human being, but along the journey arrived at so jagged a point of pain and disappointment that they could no longer continue, but finally succumbed to the disillusionment and despair that so often punish good deeds? And what of those who began their lives with cold hard dispassion, greedily climbing over the backs of those they used along the way, but upon arriving at grand success, began to taste the emptiness and transitory nature of their wealth, and experienced a conversion of heart that led them to disperse their fortune among those who could then heal from their former neglect?

Once again, I can only trust that Jesus, the only just judge, can see in each of us the Image of God that is revealed only to the Divine eye, and determined that that Image must prevail, can, with the sharp scalpel of love, so skillfully separate the good in us from the evil that assails and threatens to destroy us, gathering the goodness to the fulfillment of God’s intention, and banishes the evil that plagues us to nonexistence. Until that day, may we cling to the faith and hope, that the King of Kings, who is Love itself, will lead us into lives of service and accomplish His work of purifying and saving us. Amen

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

Tags

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.