Sunday 20th November 2016 – Christ the King (4)

The Christian year draws to a close,

Chosen One of Heaven,

and we praise You for the experience

of the fullness of human life

found within Your story.

Within each fragile moment,

the eternal promise

of God’s revealing light

challenges preconceptions

and sparkles with the hope

of what different thoughts and actions

might reveal.

Standing at the feeding trough, knowing the hatred of Herod,

starlight spoke of the alternatives for leadership.

Sermonising on a hillside, sensing the urgent hunger of the crowd,

sunlight enhanced the warmth of community.

Sitting at table, with the threat of betrayal,

candlelight dappled the hope of forgiveness.

Hanging on a cross, with the agony of death pulling at flesh,

darkness embraced the loneliness and pain of loss.

Running through a garden, filled with excitement at the unexpected,

dawn startled with new hope and possibility.

 

Response:  Let us not be afraid

FOR WE HAVE SEEN THE WORKS OF THE LORD.

 

King of Heaven,

You do not cast Your eye across this world at a distance,

but with the Holy Spirit

make Your passage though

the changing light of day and night,

and the activity of our lives.

On this day we we celebrate Your leadership,

and the alternatives to absolute power,

we pause to reflect upon

those who lead with our world and lives.

In the uncertainty of our time

we pray for those who must make decisions

about with whom and how we trade,

or how to maintain peace,

or the battles that are worth fighting.

We pray for our Government, and for the European Union,

for those across the world

frustrated with politicians and political decisions.

 

Response:  Let us not be afraid

FOR WE HAVE SEEN THE WORKS OF THE LORD.

In the warmth and light of this building,

and in our homes,

we have sensed the presence and assurance of God.

We remember those who feel the cold,

not only physically,

but within their Spirit;

those who feel that they live at a distance

from the love of God.

We remember those who have no roof under which to shelter,

and no walls behind which to hide.

As you embolden our Spirit,

we pray for the people of Aleppo and Syria,

for those living in war zones,

with less food each day

and a lack of medical supplies.

As we light candles of hope,

may we offer the assurance

that people are not forgotten,

and continue to seek ways for all to live life to the full.

 

Response:  Let us not be afraid

FOR WE HAVE SEEN THE WORKS OF THE LORD.

 

Hearing the words of the criminal on the cross,

we mark the beginning of prisoners week

with an acknowledgement

of all our failings.

We remember those who are in prison,

and the lives of the families who support them.

Heal those who have been wounded by the activities

of others, especially the victims of crime.

Help us to forgive one another.

 

Response:  Let us not be afraid

FOR WE HAVE SEEN THE WORKS OF THE LORD.

 

Amen.

Sunday 20th November 2016 – Christ the King (2)

Filler of the Holy Spaces,

who draws us towards the light and warmth of Your city,

You invite us to shelter within Your embrace.

Within the nurture of creation,

the salve that stills

the tumultuous tides of our emotions and anxieties

caresses our skin and thoughts.

Tumbling from anger and tears,

You cool the quaking thoughts

that calm words may be spoken.

Surfing the foaming waves of misunderstanding,

You point towards the the shallow tides

for pause and reflection

that common ground

and a grasp on the pervading reality

might burst into sight.

In the uproar of our world,

You are the firm fortress of truth and hope.

 

In the dimming light of winter,

gloom pervades our thoughts,

and at times we fail to look for Christ’s light

and instead wallow

in our misunderstandings

and misplaced trust.

Too quick to come to ponder on words or thoughts before us,

we make snap decisions,

and run headlong into hurting and miscalling others.

Too willing to point out the faults of others,

we fail to recognise how we have let others down.

Then terrified and afraid

of the reception we will receive

we withdraw and hide away,

until all we can do is turn to You

and hope for Your love to cast its light

upon the possibility

of a different day,

found in Your grace.

 

May we know the coming of Your days.

May we be lead to fruitful and abundant living,

that declares the presence of God

in our words and activities.

Amen.

Sunday 20th November 2016 – Christ the King

Call to Worship

Leader:     God is our refuge and strength,

ALL:          A HELP IN OUR TIMES OF TROUBLE.

Leader:     We will not be afraid, even when all is changing around us;

ALL:          FOR GOD CALLS THROUGH THE STORM AND ANXIETY

OF LIFE.

Leader:     In this holy citadel, the Lord hopes to make us glad;

ALL:          AND AS A NEW MORNING DAWNS, THE HOPE OF NEW

BEGINNINGS AWAIT.

Leader:     The Lord is with us;

ALL:          LET US BE STILL AND KNOW THE PRESENCE AROUND.

Leader:     Let us worship the Lord.

Sunday 22nd November 2015 – Reign of Christ the King B – 4

Prayers of the People

King of Glory

and Son of the everlasting Father,

we give You our love and offer our lives.

Come and rule our hearts

until the kingdom of heaven is created in all life.

Come and reign over us

that Your voice may bring calm

to the and sense

to the the tyranny of life around us.

 

In these troubled days

of uncertainty for us all,

may it be You that teaches us not to be afraid of the shadows

but instead to put our trust

in the hopes You have for all You have made.

Teach us to be strong

in the opinions we hold

where we place the value of all life

above the machinations of politics.

Direct us along paths of peace

that enable us to recognise

when we are being set against one another,

and instead bring us nearer to those

with whom we may have seen as the stranger in our midst.

 

Christ our King,

speaking truth to power,

You challenged the authority of the world,

that the lowly and the humble

might be lifted to view

and be restored in the lives they led.

We pray for governments and community leaders,

for those who seek justice and maintain order,

that the decisions and choices they make reflect people

over finance.

 

At the close of Prisoners’ Week,

we prayer for those who are imprisoned,

and for those in whose care they are placed.

We remember the families whose lives are changed

because someone they love

is no longer with them.

 

As the Christian year draws to a close,

and we being our preparations for the period of preparation called Advent,

we remember those

who are preparing for Christmas.

We think of the shoppers

who will be seeking out just the right gift

for the people they love,

and remember the financial burden

which people believe they have to place upon themselves.

We pray for the shop staff

whose patience will be tested

as people seek a bargain

or grow frustrated with the quest and crowds.

May we all learn that people matter more than gifts,

and find ways to heal broken relationships

with family members and friends.

We remember those who feel that there is no hope within their relationships,

and for whom the brokenness of a home or a partnership still awaits a resolution.

 

We pray for those who feel weak at the power

of their own bodies and minds,

and remember those who carry the burden of ill health

in body and mind;

those weighed down with grief and anxiety.

 

Lord, as we miss those who were closest to us,

who in their presence spoke of Your love,

may we meet them in the shared faith we have found in You.

Amen.

Sunday 22nd November 2015 – Reign of Christ the King (B) – 3

Offertory Prayer

Redeemer of Justice,

in opening us to the truth of the Gospel,

we meet the wealth of our lives

and come ready to respond in praise

for all we have,

that the needs of our world may be met in our actions.

So from the time, talent and plenty

we make our offering

that others may know Your love

and be restored to life in Christ.

Amen.

Sunday 22nd November 2015 – Reign of Christ the King (B) 2

Prayer of Approach and Confession

Almighty God,

before whom the winds and waves respond

in an eternal dance

of passion and vigour,

Your people respond to the sound of Your voice,

and find a place for praise of You.

The creative impulse

of the Creator

brings light and shade to each moment in time,

and in the colour that has still to be added

to this day,

there is good to be sought after,

hope to be encouraged,

and love to be shared.

 

In the life of the Son of the living God,

the encounter with the continuous creation

and recreation of all of life

echoes as people move from their old ways

to new patterns,

as broken relationships find healing.

 

Spirit of Creation,

sweep through our lives

and call us to change.

In the inability to recognise our own failings,

lead us to the mirror of engagement

that asks us to meet

all that keeps us

from engaging more with You

and others.

When we feel that others have no time for the tasks that need done,

remind us of the wasted moments of star-gazing

in which we met the wonder of Your presence.

In our anxiety of the power of others

and their control of life,

may we recognise that we hurt

with belittling comments and actions that suggest incompetence.

Listening for Your call of grace

we seek the forgiveness of Your presence in our lives.

 

Silence

 

King of Kings,

who takes time for the lost and lonely, the weak and distressed,

it is Your hand that hauls us to our next task,

and Your voice that stills our troubled thoughts.

May we be strengthened and guided by You always.

Amen.

Sunday 22nd November 2015 – Reign of Christ the King (B)

Call to Worship

Robed in majesty,

and full of strength,

the Lord is present in our world.

The alpha and omega,

the beginning and the end:

before time and through time,

and beyond time,

weaving through each moment.

 

Creation echoes with the praise of the Eternal One,

and we join in the unending voice

of thundering waves,

whispering leaves,

and sighing breezes

that tell of the goodness of God.