Worship at Home

Worship for 22nd November 2020

Christ the King

Try our new free dial-in service to listen to the sermon and a hymn – 01604 266000.

Sunday 22nd November 10:30 AM

(or whenever you wish)

This week’s message has been prepared by Dawn Smith.

This short act of worship is for use from home.  Pause to settle yourself in God’s presence, knowing that other people are sharing in worship with you.

Download the Family Activities

Call to Worship – from Psalms 93 and 95

The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty
and is armed with strength.
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
for the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods
.

Today is the last Sunday of the Church year, when we celebrate the feast of Christ the King.

So we share in our opening hymn.

King of Kings, Majesty (StF 331)

King of kings, majesty,
God of heaven living in me.
Gentle Saviour, closest Friend,
Strong Deliverer, Beginning and End:
All within me falls at Your throne.

Your majesty, I can but bow;
I lay my all before You now.
In royal robes I don’t deserve,
I live to serve Your majesty.

Earth and heaven worship You,
Love eternal, faithful and true,
Who bought the nations, ransomed souls,
Brought this sinner near to Your throne:
All within me cries out in praise.

Jarrod Cooper 

Prayer of Praise

We’ve praised God in song; let’s continue to worship him now as we pray together.

Almighty God, King of heaven and earth,
Although we are in different places, we have gathered together to praise you, to worship you, to acknowledge you as our Lord and our King. We bring with us everything that has shaped the past week, trusting that you reign supreme over it all.

Creator God, King and ruler of all that is, we have come to declare your faithfulness, to acknowledge your majesty, to marvel at your love.

Generous God, we have come to offer you our thanks for all you are, for the abundance of your gifts to us, for the hope that is ours in Christ.

Sovereign God, accept this time of worship, we pray. Use these moments to reveal to us the ways of your Kingdom and to draw us nearer to you.

King of heaven and earth, receive our praise in the name of Christ we pray, 

Amen.

Bible Reading

Matthew 27:27-31, 35-37
 
The soldiers mock Jesus

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers round him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ they said. 30 They spat on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

 
35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Message

It seems a little incongruous that on the day we celebrate Christ as King, we’re reflecting on the crucifixion. And yet, scholars, writers and artists have all described the crucifixion of Christ as the crowning of a king.

Throughout history, coronations have been full of pomp, ceremony and ritual, demonstrations of wealth, power and influence. But not the coronation of Christ.

If we examine pictures of the crucifixion, we see several things – suffering and pain, sorrow and anguish, extreme pressure and stress. But as important as all these things are, even more important are the things we can’t see.

Negative space is the name given to the idea that unseen things are just as important as the things we can see. The FedEx logo, is perhaps the most famous modern example of the positive use of negative space – the arrow symbolising movement is as important as the words and colours used.

We can look similarly at the crucifixion – what we can’t see matters at least as much as the things that are obvious.

We might be able to see the pain and suffering of Jesus, but we can’t see selfish ambition or pride; rage or bitterness; jealousy or arrogance. This is the kind of King Jesus is, the kind of person he is, who his followers are also called to be – self-giving, not self-promoting;  This King lives in us, and if we allow him to reign over every aspect of our lives, we will be transformed into his likeness. We should expect suffering and pain, but those around us should also be able to identify the negative space in our lives – humility instead of pride, contentment instead of envy, forgiveness instead of rage, love instead of hate.

But negative space can be obscured by what is immediately visible; what are we saying, perhaps without realising it, about ourselves and our God, especially part-way through a pandemic? If people see rising panic, they can’t see the quiet peace of God; if they see increasing fear, they won’t see our faith; if we despair, no-one will see our hope.

I want to confess today that more often than I’d like, people can see panic, fear, and despair in me. Today, I want to ask God to forgive me and help me turn that around, so everyone can see instead the peace, faith, and hope I have found in God.

What about you? What is your negative space saying about you and the King you follow? What would you like it to say?

Let’s pray together.

Prayer of Confession

Compassionate and merciful God,
In Christ, our King, you have shown us how to live even in the darkest of times, but we have gone back to our old ways of fear and doubt; we have chosen to walk in darkness; we have turned our focus in on ourselves. Forgive us, we pray.

Thank you that you are slow to anger and always willing to give us a second chance. Help us to accept the forgiveness you offer us in Christ, and help us in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds to show the world your love, peace, hope and joy.
In the name of Christ, we pray, 

Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

Let’s bring our prayers for the world and its people to the God who created them. After each section, we’ll take a moment to offer our own private prayers to God; then respond
Your Kingdom come; Your will be done.

King of heaven and earth, we come humbly into your presence to pray for the people and places that have been on our hearts and minds.

We pray for the Church of Christ, thinking especially of the churches in Northampton and ask that our buildings might always be places where our true King is honoured and all who come through our doors will find the welcome, healing and hope he offers. (Silence)

Your Kingdom come; Your will be done.

We pray for the world, thinking especially of those places that live with the daily threat of war and its consequences. We think of all who live and work in these areas and ask that the help and compassion of Jesus might be brought into each situation. (Silence)

Your Kingdom come; Your will be done.

We pray for this nation, thinking especially of the uncertainty that surrounds Coronavirus. We pray for our government, asking that they might put the way of Jesus first and serve the common good rather than the chosen few. (Silence)

Your Kingdom come; Your will be done.

We pray for those close to us, thinking especially of those suffering because of illness or bereavement. We think of those who find themselves in difficult situations or relationships and ask that the comfort and strength of Jesus will surround them and fill them.
(Silence)

Your Kingdom come; Your will be done.

We pray for ourselves, remembering that you are our King, and ask that we might willingly and whole-heartedly give ourselves to you, and acknowledge you as our King in all we say and do, and all we don’t say and do, so that others might be drawn to you. (Silence)

Your Kingdom come; Your will be done.

Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.
We give thanks for all that is ours because of him and commit to him all the people and situations that concern us. We ask that God’s will be done in all and for all.

Let’s sum up all our prayers in the prayer that Jesus taught his followers:

The Lord's Prayer

Please use the version that you prefer

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.

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
And deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
Now and for ever.

Amen.

StF 62 Over all the earth (Reign in me)

Over all the earth, You reign on high,
Every mountain stream, Every sunset sky.
But my one request, Lord, my only aim
Is that You’d reign in me again.

Lord, reign in me, reign in Your power;
Over all my dreams, in my darkest hour.
You are the Lord of all I am,
So won’t You reign in me again?

Over every thought, Over every word,
May my life reflect the beauty of my Lord;
‘Cause You mean more to me
Than any earthly thing,
So won’t You reign in me again?

Brenton Brown Copyright © 1998 Vineyard Songs (UK/Eire)/Adm. by CopyCare

Closing Prayer and the Grace

As we leave this place of worship to return to the challenges of the world, may Christ our King reign over us, his love inspire us, his footsteps guide us, his peace be with us.
May Christ our King reign over us, now and always.

And may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. 

Amen.

Prepared by Dawn Smith, Local Preacher

Webpage: Paul Deakin