Nov. 22, 2020
Join us for Virtual Worship, live-streamed on our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB8xubpKfMc&t=1s
An order of worship and hymn sheet are available here:
Today is Christ the King Sunday, the last week of the liturgical year. What began in Advent, waiting with the prophets for a Savior, ends in a joyous celebration of the Lamb seated on the throne! As we consider the reign of Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven, let us read together:
- Paul begins this letter to the church at Ephesus by saying that he has “heard” of their faith and love all the way from his prison cell in Rome. They have been at work in mission and others have noticed their witness. We frequently talk about faith as an individual and private matter, but the “you” Paul uses is plural. He is talking to the whole community, praising them for their public displays of devotion. How do you live out your faith in a way that others can see and hear about? Why is it important to serve in community with one another rather than trying to be a “lone ranger”?
- “I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.” This is a wonderful verse, especially for a week when we are celebrating Thanksgiving! Who are you thankful for this year? How will you let them know that they’re appreciated?
- It’s beautiful to read Paul’s prayer for these believers in Ephesus. It’s a powerful statement about how he is caring for them pastorally, even from far away in Rome. How often do you intentionally pray for someone else? What do you pray for them? How does praying for someone else deepen your conversation with God?
- One of the things Paul specifically prays for is “revelation as you come to know [Jesus]”. Remember he is writing to a faithful people whose witness he has already heard about; they know the Lord and have been practicing their faith even without Paul’s continued presence and teaching. But the verb here is in a progressive, on-going tense. We are always continuing to “come to know” Christ – there is always more to learn, more ways to grow, deeper discipleship to nourish. What has the Spirit been teaching you lately? When did Christ last surprise you? How do you keep yourself open to learning new things?
- Verses 20-22 gives us an image of what Christ as King looks like – seated at God’s right hand above every “authority and power and dominion.” How does the assurance of Christ’s reign deepen your faith? What hope does this image give you?
Like Paul, I am praying for each of you! May the Lord bless you with hearts enlightened by hope and love this week. May we rest in the assurance of Christ’s reign and be strengthened in our work as the Church, his body in the world.
Grace and Peace to you all!
Pastor Maggie Rust