2 Samuel 23:1-7; Psalm 132:1-12; Revelation 1:4b-8; John 18:33-37
Thom Shuman’s liturgy with communion: Thom Shuman – Reign of Christ
Hymns for this Sunday – Natalie Sims lists TiS 547 Be thou my vision. The music is SLANE, of Irish folk origin. (MIDI, score) which explains the words for the hymn. Slane Hill is about ten miles from Tara in County Meath. It was on Slane Hill around 433 AD that St. Patrick defied a royal edict by lighting candles on Easter Eve. High King Logaire of Tara had decreed that no one could light a fire before Logaire began the pagan spring festival by lighting a fire on Tara Hill. Logaire was so impressed by Patrick’s devotion that, despite his defiance (or perhaps because of it), he let him continue his missionary work. Could be a great final hymn, especially with this background to introduce the hymn.
Prayers for others – could consider using the Lord’s prayer interspersed with prayers for others (example below)
Our Father who art in heaven
How blissful it is to imagine heaven on earth. But lives are always endangered. Poverty consumes many, hunger and disease destroy many. The bodies of young people are for sale. Mothers and fathers are migrating to foreign lands seeking freedom and dignity and new opportunities.
God, grant to us the experience of heaven on earth.
Hallowed be your name
Your name is holy, your people are holy. You created us in your image. But the dignity of the poor ones is crushed by those who whip the poor by laws and by rules. Your name was used by foreign powers. In your name colonizers invaded foreign lands. In your name they burned and smashed.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
We know that your kingdom is a kingdom of love, justice and of peace. A kingdom of righteousness and abundance for all. Do not allow us to be deceived by the standard of this world, where unjust wars rule and colonizers become rulers of the nations. Let your will be done soon, and vanish the pseudo-kingdom of empire power. Until we can finally say, heaven is possible here on earth.
Give us this day our daily bread
The bread that we eat today satisfies our hunger. But those who make the bread in many countries have empty stomachs. How can we be happy when our body is full while many are wanting? We have been told those who do not work should not eat. But how come, those who work hard have too little to eat, while those who amass wealth by greed have plenty to throw away ? May the daily bread we partake in be the communion of struggle and hope, and be the bread that is shared by all.
Forgive us our debt, as we forgive debtors.
We offer our self-criticisms. When we have failed to love You and our neighbour, renew us and enable us to make up whatever we have failed to do. Give us hearts that can share your grace by forgiving others. Let us be humble like a dove and make us wise as a serpent. May we be sustained in our courage, that we will not be manipulated by those who have wronged, exploited and oppressed your people. Forgiveness is for those who have admitted their accountability, for your grace is sufficient enough to correct our mistakes. But arrogance and conceit will lead us only to downfall.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Lead us not to resignation in our work for justice and peace. Let not cynicism rule us, but lead us to a deeper steadfastness to overcome evil in our midst.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory are yours forever. Amen.
This we believe. Let your power of love and the glory of justice and peace be with us all forever and ever. Amen.
Adapted from a prayer by Norma.P. Dollager
Christ the King © Jeff Shrowder, 2012
“Truth in advertising.” “Truth, the first casualty in war.” “Always tell the truth: there’s less to remember.”
“What is truth?” he asked: a question for every age.
Truth – something Pilate didn’t understand and maybe we don’t either.
Truth can be threatening when the way, the truth, and the life call into question
the perceptions on which we build our world.
Power – intoxicating, addictive, abused by kings, emperors, governors
and probably most of us even in some small way.
Powers like Caesar appear to hold ultimate authority
but appearances can be deceiving…
Christ the King – different from the kingship understood by Pilate and probably most of us.
Christ the King, the way, the truth, and the life: sovereignty in love and freedom.
(Adapted from a sermon from some years ago, which may have drawn on material from other, long-forgotten, sources.)
More for Reign of Christ (Christ the King) at
Prayers and meditations based on Psalm of the day:
THE TIMELESS PSALMS – JOAN STOTT