After scouring the Internet for sermon and worship helps, here are some links and excerpts from some of the best resources I found. Click on the links to read more. Also, check out the following sites for further materials for your use:
|Roman Catholic||Revised Common||Episcopal|
|PSALM||Psalm 122:1-5||Luke 1:68-79 or Psalm 46||Psalm 46|
|LESSON 1||2 Samuel 5:1-3||Jeremiah 23:1-6||Jeremiah 23:1-6|
|LESSON 2||Colossians 1:12-20||Colossians 1:11-20||Colossians 1:11-20|
|GOSPEL||Luke 23:33-43||Luke 23:33-43||Luke 23:33-43|
Christ the King (Stained Glass Window)
Christ the King (with Sacred Heart)
Jesus with Crown of Thorns on Trial (Black and White)
Jesus on Cross between Thieves (Black and White)
Jesus on Cross (Solitary, Black and White)
Jesus on Cross between Thieves and with Crowd (Black and White)
Jesus on Cross (Head Shot, Black and White)
Jesus (Orthodox Icon, Pantocrator)
Bulletin Cover (Christ the King, Colossians Text, Black and White)
Powerpoint Background (Christ the King)
Powerpoint Background (Colossians 1:16)
From Fit for a King (Christ the King, Year C, November 25, 2001):
As the last selection from Luke in the C cycle of Lectionary readings, the crucifixion is an epitome of Lukan themes. Announced to the shepherds as savior, Jesus does this from the throne of the cross. The “good thief” (Luke calls him simply a “criminal”) calls him simply Jesus, a gesture of intimacy but also the promised name given at birth for the one who would reign as king (Lk. 2:31-33). The criminal asks to be remembered by Jesus, but receives much more—intimacy with him in Paradise. Jesus, who took on the mantle of Isaiah to proclaim salvation to the poor and the marginal (4:18) and came “to seek and save the lost” (19:10), promises salvation to one like himself, marginal and rejected. Luke’s Jesus preaches reconciliation and love of enemies, and as he is led to execution, he heals the ear of the hostile high priest’s servant, breaks down the hatred between Pilate and Herod and dies with a prayer to his Father for forgiveness of his executioners (23:34).
From Preaching Peace’s Anthropological Reading:
Christ the King Sunday. Here we are, singing, "All Hail the Power of Jesus Name!" at the top of our lungs, and then we get this really, really depressing Gospel reading. Jesus, hanging on the cross, comforting some poor slob who feels bad about what he’s done, and about what’s happening to Jesus. We could’ve gotten somethng more fun. We could’ve listened to the crowds shout "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" as Jesus rides into Jerusalem. We could’ve listened in on Pilate asking Jesus, "So, are you a king?" But no. We have Jesus in his least kingly moment. Or so it would seem.
In the whole of the Passion Narrative, there is only one human being who realizes what’s really happening prior to the events of the resurrection. There is only one person, looking at Jesus on the cross, who does not see disaster. Tradition calls him Dimas. Luke calls him a thief.
Where do you expect to meet your king?
Maybe you think he’ll be in a palace. Perhaps you think he’ll be riding in triumph in a parade displaying symbols wealth and power. In Luke we meet our King on his way to glory dying on a piece of tree. Two criminals were there
with him standing, both were struggling for breath on their own crosses waiting along side of Jesus for death to come. One criminal mocked Jesus. The other believed. One made fun of him as he stood dying, the other asked, "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Is this your king? The crucified one.
From Last Sunday after Pentecost, Year C: Christ the King Sunday by Sarah Dylan Breuer
Jesus offers a radical redefinition of kingship, a radical vision for how the truly powerful use power . . . Christ the King is the one whose kingship was shown in how he treated the poor and outcast as royalty, and whose vindication from the God in whose name he rode into Jerusalem showed us that his humble service is the kind of behavior God truly honors.
From Reflections on the Lectionary for November 2007: The Future Beyond the End by William J. Sappenfield
In 1519 Martin Luther wrote The Heidelberg Disputation. In it, he made the famous distinction between the Theology of the Cross and the Theology of Glory. Luther’s contention was that people are naturally drawn to the Theology of Glory, which he defined as a desire to take God’s glory by force of will, to use a relationship with God for protection from suffering, and to have God answer our desires. Of course, Luther rejected such an understanding of a relationship with God. Luther further asserted that people are naturally repelled by the Theology of the Cross. (Paul had rightly called the cross a “stumbling block” in 1 Corinthians 1:23.) The Theology of the Cross proclaims that Christians have a relationship with God because they “have died with Christ” (Paul again, Romans 6:7–8) and they can only know God by how he comes to them as Jesus. Jesus comes to us as one crucified, so if we are to know him, it will be as one on a cross.
From Signs of the King (Ps. 46; Jer 23:1-6; Col.1:11-20; Lk. 23:35-43) by Rosalind Brown
We all have our own ideas of what royalty is . . .
We also know what royalty should look like. . .
[But] In fact, none of our ideas reflect God’s concept of kingship (human or divine) completely. We are not alone in this. In Jeremiah’s time the people’s understanding of kingship was tainted by human kings who had led them to the point of imminent destruction and deportation. God spoke of the kings as shepherds who had failed to care for their people. Would a nation scattered and destroyed, left uncared for and afraid, even want God to raise up another shepherd or king for it? Could the people welcome a righteous king?
When we come to Christ the King Sunday, we have to acknowledge that we bring cultural baggage with us. But what happens if we lay our preconceptions to one side and let the readings tell us what a king is?
From Preaching Luke 23:33-43 by Patrick J. Wilson
How do we know the work of God? When God’s salvation appears in our midst, how do we recognize it? And as preachers, how do we speak of it? Luke preaches by way of narrative, allowing the truth to shine surrounded by sarcasm. This question of how do we recognize the salvation of God has haunted the Gospel of Luke from the beginning. It was the devil who first proposed it back in chapter 4. Jesus was famished, Luke says, and the devil quite reasonably and helpfully proposes, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread" (4:3)—save yourself from the pangs of hunger, weakness, perhaps even death since 40 days stretches toward the limit of human endurance for fasting. Not in the least discouraged by Jesus’ response that "One does not live by bread alone" (4:4), the devil proposes another strategy: "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down" (4:9) and count on God to "command his angels" (4:10) protect you so that not the slightest harm will come to you. It only stands to reason that God would wish to protect God’s own son, God’s anointed one, the agent of God’s salvation.
From Christ the King Sermon by the Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, Bishop of Honduras
We see it over and over again. The question is being asked constantly to Jesus. If he is the king, then why is he is such misery and pain. If you are the king, you should not be going through so many problems, or facing such predicaments.
It was Pontius Pilate that asked him: "Are you the king of the Jews? I am sure he was thinking if you are a king then why are you in jail?
And I think that we should ask our Christ one more time: Are you the King of this feast that is being celebrated by our Honduran church so destroyed by misery and pain? If Christ is our king, then how come we are facing so many problems and encountering such horrible predicaments?
How can we see God’s kingdom in death and destruction? It’s hard to see it in failures and broken dreams? How could I explain about God’s sovereignty and almighty power to that poor man that presented me with his dead child that he had just pulled from the waters. "Monse’or pray for him, he is my only child. Do something, please bishop, do something!!!"
From Christ the King – Last Sunday After Pentecost, A sermon by Luke Bouman:
How then, does Jesus fit into this picture? How is Jesus king? Certainly in today’s text Jesus looks anything but a king. In fact, most of the royal language in today’s text is more taunt than title. “If you are the king……” “If you are the Messiah……” Even the sign over the cross is a title of derision. “The King of the Jews” is placed above Jesus as a sign that he has lost in the greater game of “king of the hill” that is being played out in ancient Judea, a province of Rome. The governor, widely known to be ruthless, had dispatched yet another challenger to the authority of Rome and its emperor. Jesus is even rejected by the religious leaders of his own people. Either they are comfortable towing the Roman line, or they are uncomfortable with Jesus as a challenger to the status quo, or both. They do not see him as the anointed one, who will be king.
From "Christ Our King" a sermon on Colossians 1:11-20
We don’t know much about kings. We know the definition but have no experience of them. We have all grown us in a republic or democracy of some kind. To us kings are the characters in fairy tales or stories of long ago and far away. When we think of a monarch we think of the Queen of England. A noble woman to be admired, but she is hardly an example of what monarchs historically have been. A genuine monarchy is something we have no first hand experience of. As a result we modern people don’t really know what we mean when we call Christ our King.
To understand what "Christ the King" means we have to understand what a monarchy is. Let me contrast it with the form of government we know: democracy. The way that a democracy works is rather plain to us. In a democracy power is distributed evenly among the people. In a democracy the people tell the leaders what to do. If they don’t do what we say, we kick them out of office. In an a
bsolute monarchy things work the other way around. All the power belongs to the King or Queen. The monarch tells the people what to do and they obey. If they don’t, the Monarch has the authority to punish them for it.
Now hold on to your socks. I have some news for you that might be shocking for some. The Kingdom of God is not a democracy. It is a monarchy.
From A View From The Cross by John Jewell
There is something astounding about today’s scripture readings when you compare and contrast Luke and Colossians. You are seeing Jesus in two mind boggling, absolutely opposite views.
One the one hand Paul lifts a veil — as it were — to a profound spiritual view of who Christ is. "… all things have been created through him and for him…. in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…" Juxtapose with this Luke’s gut wrenching picture of someone hanging on a cross between two convicted criminals. This is a death reserved for the "low-lifes" of the Roman world. Those who are supposed to be the leaders of God’s chosen people are hurling insults as though to grind salt into the wounds of the crucified One.
Can you fathom this! How can it be? The One whom Paul says is "the image of the invisible God," being ridiculed by the likes of these hypocrites, power mongers and thieves? And what is the response of the One in whom Paul says all powers and rulers and authorities were created? Does he smash them with a Rambo-like sword of terrible vengeance? Or blow them to bits with a breath? How about unleashing all the fury of Michael the archangel’s host of warriors?
No. He says, "Father forgive them…"
From Pastor Daphne Burt "Serving a King who Died on a Cross"
You don’t have to be particularly observant
to figure out what time of year it is right now –
All you have to do is walk into your neighborhood Walgreen’s.
No sooner was Hallowe’en over
than the orange and black decor of the season of trick or treating
was replaced by the red and green
Of what is arguably America’s favorite season:
The “most wonderful time of the year” – “Shopping season.”
However, for Christians,
this time of year means that we once again challenged
to reflect upon how our core values
are not necessarily the same
as those of the world around us.
today is not last day of a weekend of great sales and discounts that kicked off that “shopping season” –
it’s the last Sunday of the church year,
Christ the King Sunday,
a time for us to remember who we are and whose we are.
From Christ the King by The Reverend Dr Michael Chandler
If you and I were expected to watch a crucifixion, we would be distressed and horrified even though we are entirely accustomed to violence on TV and in newspapers. The agonised shrieks of the condemned men would give way to moans and both sounds would be mixed with the distress of friends and relatives, and with the noise of the world going about its business. There would be the blood, the mess, the smell of sweat and fear and worse.
It would be difficult to exaggerate the suffering, but not difficult to overdo the description in a sermon. So, let your own mind play upon the spectacle, like ‘the people [who] stood by watching’. And then remember the identity of the man in the centre, with the criminals, ‘one on his right and one on his left’ (Luke 23.33). Remember him in the context of what was to be written about him a few decades later. We heard one such passage a few minutes ago; here it is again: – ‘He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and earth were created, things visible and invisible, … all things were created through him and for him. He himself is before all things’ (Colossians 1:15-17).
It is one of the massive ironies of the Christian story that we have become entirely accustomed to both the realities that I have tried to describe. We read descriptions of Jesus’ crucifixion without realising the horror. We read about Jesus’ divinity without being disturbed by relating the two.
From Moira Laidlaw:
Call to Worship
Read Luke 1: 68-79 responsively or use the following based on Luke 1:68-75:
Blessed be the God of Israel who looks favourably on all people;
who is raising up a mighty Saviour from the house of David;
a Saviour who will deliver us from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
We have received this mercy, promised to our ancestors,
and with thanksgiving,
we will worship and serve God in holiness and righteousness all our days.
Through the tender mercy of God,
those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death will know healing and light,
and they will be guided in the way of peace.
Blessed be the God of Israel for the prophecies of old are about to be fulfilled.
Eternal God, we offer to you these gifts and our lives. May Christ the King rule in our hearts and lives so that we are powerful witnesses to the truth of your kingdom of love, justice, mercy and peace. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen
From Thomas L. Weitzel (see his excellent Great Thanksgiving Prayer at this link as well)
Dialog for Christ the King:
A. Behold, the King comes. Alleluia!
C. O come, let us worship and bow down. Alleluia! Alleluia!
A. Rejoice greatly, for Christ is your King.
C. Blessing and honor and glory be unto him.
A. Blessed are you, O Lord, King of the universe; you have delivered us from sin and death.
C. By your blood, you have brought your people into your kingdom.
A. Therefore God has highly exalted him:
C. And bestowed on him the name which is above every name;
A. That at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow:
C. And every tongue confess him the King of glory.
A. Behold, the King comes. Alleluia!
C. O come, let us worship and bow down. Alleluia! Alleluia!
From John Jewell:
Call To Worship (Based on Psalm 46)
Leader: The Presence of God is our Strength,
People: Our refuge in times of trouble.
Leader: When God is with us, there is joy in our hearts,
People: Therefore we rejoice and give thanks.
Leader: For you alone, O Lord are God,
People: The one who reigns in all the earth.
Prayer of Dedication
Because of your great gifts to us O Lord, we have forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to your perfect love. Bless the gifts we bring and give us courage to live more fully for you. Amen.
From Bruce Prewer:
Confession and Assurance
We come before God in confession, laying our faults at the feet of Christ.
Let us pray.
To you, Christ our King:
We bring our lust for power and set it down before your rejection of power.
We bring our love of money and place it before your willing poverty.
We bring our stubborn pride and set it before your utter humility.
We bring our pay-back mentality and lay it before your mercifulness.
We bring our desire for self glory and put before your love of God’s glory.
We bring our self interest and rest it before your self giving.
We bring all our vaunted wisdom and lay it before the “folly” of your cross.
Most merciful God, please forgive us once again. Enable us to let go of guilt, and to take steps to prevent future debacles. Correct the distortions in our thinking and feeling, and realign our hopes and ambitions to your will. Let us become in action as well as intention, the brothers and sisters of Christ the King.
Good news! Wonderful news! My friends, God has already forgiven you. Believe it, take it to heart, and live it! It is for real!
In the name of Christ.