Christ the King Sunday
TEXT: Matthew 25:31-46
“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.’” (Matthew 25:34-36)
Gracious and merciful God, we give you thanks and praise this day for sending your Christ to be our King:
- King of the poor, to whom belongs the kingdom of heaven;
- King of the sorrowful, who experience a comfort this world cannot give;
- King of the meek, who are destined to inherit the earth;
- King of the hungry and thirsty, to whom are promised heavenly bread and wine;
- King of the merciful, who give without expecting reward;
- King of the pure of heart, who find hope where others see only desolation and despair;
- King of the peacemakers, whom you call your children;
- King of persecuted believers, who rejoice to be counted worthy of suffering for his sake.
Thanks be to you, God of Christ our wounded King, for everything he has taught us, for the humble path he has shown us, and for all he has suffered—for us, and for the whole world.
We think, O God, of all the places where we can find your Son and hear him calling to us.
We think of how he is present in the lives of those who are sick, and of how we can see him in the face of the strangers in our community.
We think of how he longs for us to visit him in prison; how he cries out to be fed, and clothed, and given shelter in the cities of our nation, and in the deserts and refugee camps and combat zones of our world.
We think of those who have no power; who find themselves at the mercy of forces over which they have no control—economic, political, military, and social forces which bring conflict, poverty, and myriad forms of hardship; climatic and environmental forces which bring drought, famine, and natural disaster; forces of nature which work to destroy the weakest and most helpless amongst us—forces which we are called to oppose, as people to whom you have given dominion over the earth.
Make us more aware of how Christ Jesus is to be found within the least of our brothers and sisters; of how he meets us in those we consider unimportant or less righteous or less deserving than others. Grant to us this day compassionate hearts and the will to serve.
By the power of your Spirit, O God, help us to live out our discipleship with increasing faithfulness; to show our commitment to Christ through our actions every day: through how we spend our time and our money; through how we employ our hands and direct our feet; through how we speak and how we think; through how we work and how we play.
We pray for your healing touch and assurance and peace for all those who are in need this day. We pray for those near to us, and for those dear to us. We pray for those whose names we know, and for those whose names—and needs—are known only to you.
Inspire our service—to all of these, and to the least of these—that we may feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome strangers, clothe the naked and visit the incarcerated, as faithful believers in the hope to which Christ Jesus has called us; in his name we ask it. Amen.