Christ the King - Church at Home

22nd November 2020

Weekly notices & Church at Home

(Scroll down for this week's service)

Graham Sutherland, Christ in Glory in the Tetramorph, 1953

Oil on board, Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry

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در هنگام خطبه روز یکشنبه هدفون های خود را بگذارید و به این ترجمه گوش دهید.

یا در خانه گوش دهید.

< خطبه / Listen in Farsi

< متن خطبه / or read the translation


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NOTICES


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During lockdown we won't meet for public worship in person. But keep checking here and social media for prayer resources.

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Foodbank will continue as normal at the Venerable bede and St James'.

St James' is open for private prayer every Wednesday 10am - 1pm.

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Church of England prayer for the nation - 6pm every day

Find all the info here >

The Church of England has called on us all to unite as a nation in prayer every day at 6pm using the following prayer topics:

  1. Sunday - family, friends, and loved ones.

  2. Monday - Schools, colleges, kids and young people.

  3. Tuesday - The elderly, the isolated, and vulnerable.

  4. Wednesday - Businesses, workplaces, and the economic well being of all

  5. Thursday - NHS and other key workers.

  6. Friday - national and local government.

  7. Saturday - the grieving, suffering and unwell.



Cornerstone - takeaway cafe and hot food deliveries

Our friends at Cornerstone Benwell on Wednesdays and Thursdays are offering:

  • Take-away service for beverages and sandwiches.

  • Hot meal home delivery service from 11.30am. Main course £3.00 and/or dessert £1.00.

Phone Cornerstone before 10am on those days and Amy will take your order.

0191 2260941

Armstrong road, NE4 7TU

Find all the info here >


WORSHIP

Christ the King

Reflection by The Revd David Kirkwood

Service led by The Revd Dominic Coad

Watch here at 10.30am >

or listen and read along here:

مراسم کامل با قرائت و خطبه به زبان فارسی

The service starts with some quiet music; please use this to clear your mind and acknowledge the presence of God.



Intro music


At the Fireside op.15 no.8 by Robert Schumann.



Opening prayer


In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.



Confession

Jesus says, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’

So let us turn away from sin and turn to Christ,

confessing our sins in penitence and faith.


The kingdom is yours,

but we turn away from your just rule:

Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy.)


The power is yours,

but we trust in our own power and strength:

Christ, have mercy. (Christ, have mercy.)


The glory is yours,

but we fall short of the glory of God:

Lord, have mercy. (Lord, have mercy.)


May the God of love and power

forgive us and free us from our sins,

heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,

and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord. Amen.



Collect


Eternal Father,

whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven

that he might rule over all things as Lord and King:

keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of peace,

and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.



Reading


A reading from the letter to the Ephesians.


I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards 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.

(Ephesians 1:15-end)

This is the word of the Lord

(Thanks be to God).



Gospel


Alleluia, alleluia. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to stand with confidence before the Son of man. Alleluia.


The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. (Glory to you O Lord)


Jesus said to his 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.’


(Matthew 25:31-end)

This is the gospel of the Lord.

(Praise to you, O Christ)

Reflection

By the Revd David Kirkwood


Today’s gospel reading is there for two reasons. Firstly it’s a sequence, it follows on directly from the stories we heard over the last two weeks, but secondly it is there because today we celebrate Christ the King, and this in one of the few passages in the gospel that actually refer to Jesus as King. As sequence, it follows the story of the unready bridesmaids and the story of the talents. Today’s passage is a bit different, not a story or parable but a description of what Jesus says will happen. ’When the Son of Man comes in Glory and all the angels with Him’. This is a picture of ‘The End’ of ‘The Last Judgement.’ Next week is Advent Sunday, the start of the Advent season, the four weeks leading up to Christmas but in church tradition, not a time for light hearted Christmas shopping, but a time to meditate on the coming of Christ (sometimes called the Second Coming ) and ‘the four last things’, Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. I wonder how that makes you feel, hopeful, nervous, confused, sceptical?


The image of Christ the King coming on the clouds, dividing sheep and goats is a powerful one, despite the homely image of a humble shepherd this is not a gentle gospel passage, but one that humbles us, it reminds us of the power of Christ, a power at work in judgement. Jesus as king has an authority which far outweighs all the kings and kingdoms of the world. He is the one that our first reading told us is

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.

Yet the strange thing about the gospel reading is that even as it reminds us of the power and authority of Christ exalted above all things, we find another Christ too, a quite different picture, a hidden, needy Christ.


When Japan opened up to the world in the 19th century having been sealed away for centuries, many changes followed. The Emperor determined to become more like a European monarch, so rather than being separated from his people like a living god he decided to do something unheard of, to get out and meet his subjects. He liked to tell the story, how at one humble home he visited on his travels, the ordinary family pulled out all the stops, providing him a wonderful meal and all the courtesies due to a distinguished guest and as the emperor said, ‘they didn’t even know who I was.’


It’s a situation that also occurs in folk tales and legends from around the world. I’d love to know if such a story exists in Persian. In the Greek and Roman story of Philemon and Baucis, the gods Zeus and Hermes (Jupiter and Mercury) come down to earth and wander around in disguise seeking food and shelter only to be rejected and turned away by many wealthy people. When they arrive at the rundown cottage of an elderly and impoverished couple it’s a different story. Philemon and Baucis willingly share what they have gladly washing their feet, decorating tables, preparing the best fare they have, even preparing to kill the goose, whose eggs they rely on, before the gods disclose themselves and reward them.


In the Bible too we read of heavenly visitors to earthly homes, the angels who come to Abraham and Sarah and later to Lot, and how again they were warmly welcomed. This has worked its way into the English language in the saying ‘entertaining angels unawares’ a direct quotation from the Letter to the Hebrews.

‘Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ Hebrews 13:2

Today’s gospel is not just about entertaining angels unawares but about welcoming Christ Himself.


The king tells the righteous on his right hand

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.” How can this be? What has this Christ the King got to do with them? The righteous ask,

“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.”

This is the hidden Christ, the anonymous Christ, the Christ in everyman, or every poor man or woman; the hungry, the homeless, the imprisoned, the sick, the needy Christ. And if this Christ was hidden to those who have helped, He is hidden even more from those who failed to help.


“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.”

The lesson is clear it is not about the end of the world, it is about the here and now. If we count ourselves worshippers of the kingly Christ and are hopeful of meeting him when he comes in glory, we need also to be servants of the hidden Christ. We need to look hard to see where we might find him and how we might help.


Let mutual love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: This instruction from Hebrews sums it up in two Greek words philadelpia’ and ‘philozenia’. Philadelphia- brotherly love, let it remain he says. Love those close to you, your family, your church family, your friends, but don’t let it stop there, go the next step too. Don’t forget philozenia. This is sometimes translated hospitality, the literal meaning is love of the stranger or foreigner, it’s the exact opposite of a word you may already know xenophobia -the fear mistrust or hatred of strangers or foreigners.

We don’t need to wait for the last day to meet Christ we can go out today and meet Him in friend and stranger.


Today as well as being Christ the King is sometimes called ‘Stir up Sunday’ , named after the Collect from the old prayer book which ,because it talks of ‘fruits’ and ‘stirring up’, was taken as a timely reminder to sort out the Christmas Pudding. Well be that as it may today’s gospel is definitely a ‘stir up’ gospel encouraging us to seek and find Christ our King in the needs of our brothers and sisters and bring forth fruit in serving them.


Stir up, we beseech thee O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen



Prayer intentions


Let us with confidence present our prayers and supplications to the throne of grace.


We pray for all those in positions of power,

that they may govern with wisdom and integrity,

serving the needs of their people.

  • Leaders responding to the challenges of Covid

May your reign come;

Lord, hear our prayer.


We pray for the Church, the sign of your reign,

that it may extend your welcome to people of every race and background.

  • Bishops Christine and Mark, Area Dean Christine.

  • Those affected by abuse in the church and those tasked with responding.

May your kingdom come;

Lord, hear our prayer.


We pray for those whose commitment to truth

brings them into conflict with earthly powers,

that they may have the courage to endure.

  • Those who defend democracy

  • All who stand up for their rights.

May your rule come;

Lord, hear our prayer.


We pray for this community of faith,

that attentive to your word we may always worship in spirit and in truth.

  • Our parish projects

  • Our continued worship in lockdown.

  • Our separated church family.

May your reign come;

Lord, hear our prayer.


We pray for the sick and suffering, all who have asked for our prayers

  • The Riches family

  • Linda, Stuart, and their son David

  • Dee Humphrey

  • Claire Mozaffari

  • Eric Harling

  • Herbert Agbeko

  • All affected by Covid19


We pray for those who have died and those who love them we remember especially

  • Ron Hume

  • Carol Wolstenholme

  • All victims of Covid 19.


Loving God, you have taught us that the power of the heart is greater than the power of wealth and might. Hear us as we pray for the fulfilment of your reign. We ask this through Jesus Christ our King; to him be glory and power for ever.

Amen.



Lord's Prayer


Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us:

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,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever. Amen.




Hymn

Listen to the music here >


Christ is the King! O friends, rejoice;

brothers and sisters, with one voice

let the world know he is your choice.

Alleluia!


Oh magnify the Lord, and raise

anthems of joy and holy praise

for Christ's brave saints of ancient days.

Alleluia!


They with a faith forever new

followed the King, and round him drew

thousands of faithful servants true.

Alleluia!


O Christian women, Christian men,

all the world over, seek again

the way disciples followed then.

Alleluia!


Christ through all ages is the same:

place the same hope in his great name,

with the same faith his word proclaim.

Alleluia!


Let love's unconquerable might

your scattered companies unite

in service to the Lord of light.

Alleluia!


So shall God's will on earth be done,

new lamps be lit, new tasks begun,

and the whole church at last be one.

Alleluia!



Conclusion


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

And the love of God

And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

Be with us all, evermore. Amen



Outro music


Mazurka op.67 no.3 by Frédéric Chopin.

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