Worship Connection: November 25, 2018

October 15th, 2018

COLOR: White
SCRIPTURE READINGS: 2 Samuel 23:1-7; Psalm 132:1-12; Revelation 1:4b-8; John 18:33-37

CALLS TO WORSHIP

Call to Worship #1

L: Come, let us celebrate the goodness of God.
P: God has blessed us with God's great love.
L: Let us come to this time, letting go of our worries.
P: Let us come to this time praising God.
L: Come, now is the time to worship.
P: We come rejoicing, for God is so good to us. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2

L: Jesus calls us to open our hearts to all in need.
P: We come this day to hear his words of encouragement for us.
L: Look around you. Smile at each other, for we all have need of friendship and welcome.
P: With God's great love in our hearts, we find our welcome in this place of worship. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3

[From the United Methodist Hymnal, p. 176, "Majesty, Worship His Majesty", have the choir and congregation share the following call to worship]

Choir: begins singing
L: Come, let us bow down and worship the King of kings, the Lord of Lord.
P: At this birth the angels proclaimed it. He is the Wonderful Counselor, Lord Of Lords, King of Kings, the Prince of Peace.
L: Through his teaching and his life we have learned how to live to God.
P: By his death and resurrection we have been saved and claimed by God as witnesses to God's eternal love.
All: sing

Call to Worship #4

[Note: Purcell's "Trumpet Voluntary" is a good piece of music to lead into this worship. It sets the tone of a triumphal entry and celebration]

L: The King of Kings is raised in glory.
P: Christ sits on the throne at the right hand of God.
L: Come, let us worship and bow down to the Lord our Creator.
P: Let us offer praise to Christ our Redeemer. AMEN.

PRAYERS, LITANY, BENEDICTION

Invocation/Opening Prayer

We come this day, rejoicing, in the presence of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. At his birth the angels proclaimed his name to be Emmanuel, God with us. Today in this place, in this time of worship, may we truly feel the power and presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. May our hearts and spirits be warmed and challenged to proclaim with our lives, "Christ is Lord!". AMEN.

Prayer of Confession

We have trouble believing in a King in our lives. Early in our nation's history, we rejected monarchy as something undesirable. Yet, this day we are called to recognize Jesus Christ as the King of our lives, our sovereign ruler. His kingdom is based on the laws of love; loving God as God has truly loved us and loving our neighbor as we ourselves want to be loved. That love extends beyond the borders of our lives, into a world in which there is fear and alienation, hunger and disease, hopelessness and darkness. Jesus, our sovereign ruler, our friend, our Master and guide has asked us to reach out to feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked, visit the sick and those imprisoned; welcome the stranger. These words are not unfamiliar to us, yet somehow we have treated them as nice words but not an active part of our life of faith. Forgive us, Lord, for the meagerness of our faith and the weakness of our witness. Rule our lives again with your powerful love, that we might truly be worthy disciples of yours. Help us to find the forgiveness which you have given to us and to do your will. AMEN.

Words of Assurance

Even though we have often failed to do as our Lord Jesus has asked, yet there is eternal forgiveness and a chance to again follow his ways. Be assured, dear friends, that the love of Jesus Christ will never leave you. Be his witnesses throughout the world. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer

From the first day of Advent, so long ago, we have come full circle to the celebration of the Reign of Christ, also known as Christ the King Sunday. We have witnessed the wonderful birth, the great healing moments, the teachings that have sustained people throughout the centuries. We cried in sorrow at the Crucifixion and rejoiced with absolute joy on the sunrise of Easter when Jesus conquered our greatest fear, death. We celebrated the great good news of the disciples as they risked everything to finally proclaim the good news to all people. Now on this Sunday, we invite Jesus to enter our hearts.

Sovereign Lord Jesus, come into our hearts today and take your reign. Remind us that your kingdom is a kingdom of hope and light, in which there is no darkness, fear, or sadness. You have called us to be the Kingdom people, living our lives in the knowledge that peace, justice, and hope are not only possible, but can actually be the ruling factor of the world, for those who follow you. There are many who do not acknowledge your presence and your name, O Lord. But in your infinite love and mercy, you have acknowledged and claimed them. Help us to be the kind of disciples that welcome everyone with the words of kindness, that offer acts of mercy and peace to all in need, to proclaim Christ risen and glorified. As we have brought before you, O Lord, the names of people and situations needing your healing and comforting touch, may we also open our hearts for that same healing and comfort. Remind us that we are never out of your grace and mercy. We know that you will give us the strength and wisdom to be true disciples and we celebrate and honor you, now and forever. AMEN.

Offertory Prayer

With gratitude for all the blessings you have poured into our lives, Lord Jesus, we come bringing these our gifts that they may be used in service to those in need. Bless these gifts and those who have given them, that they may truly be a blessing in your holy name. AMEN.

Litany

[This litany is more appropriately used as a brief chancel drama. It may be spoken by a worship leader and either one or two other readers (parts P). It should be well rehearsed if it is to be a chancel drama, so that the short phrases are not lost. This is not a hurried piece of drama, take time]

P: I am an independent person. I need no one. I am my own person. No one owns me!
L: Come , bow down before your Lord, your King.
P: Excuse me! I have no king. I don't need a king.
L: The Lord Jesus Christ, he is the King of Kings.
P: Where is his kingdom?
L: In your heart and spirit.
P: You've got to be kidding!?
L: No, the Lord seeks to reign in your heart, to establish his kingdom in your life.
P: Nobody's setting up shop in my head!
L: It's difficult to understand. The Lord Jesus Christ is seeking you out, as friend, and witness.
P: Witness to what?
L: To God's absolute love for you and for all creation.
P: All I see is war and violence; viciousness and hatred.
L: Open your eyes. There is more to see than that. You yourself have been a blessing to someone recently.
P: Me? I don't think so. What do you mean?
L: You recently offered your help to a person in need, didn't you?
P: Well, yes. But.....
L: You supported people who were in ministries of caring and compassion.
P: Well, of course. That's what you should do.
L: Why?
P: Because they needed help and even though I couldn't provide it directly, I could help cover the expenses of those who could be right at hand.
L: Why did you do it?
P: Because it was needed. Someone has to help, right?
L: It's nice that you are part of that "someone". Christ's love is reigning in you.
P: I never thought of it that way.
L: Whenever you have reached out to others in love and compassion, you have reached out to Christ. You have become part of the Kingdom team.
P: But I don't feel controlled, ruled over.
L: You're not. Christ is working with you to bring about God's kingdom.
P: So, I'm actually doing what God wants? How about that!
L: Keep on working. There is much to be done, and God is with you through it all. AMEN.

Benediction, Blessing, Commission

Go now in peace. Bring the good news of God's eternal love, the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit to all you meet. Go in peace. AMEN.

ARTISTIC ELEMENTS

[Note: It will be important to include in your worship bulletin a brief description of the meaning of this worship visual setting]

[Note: this can be a very powerful worship setting. Each of the areas is representative of a portion of today's Gospel lesson. Make sure that you write a brief description of the meaning of each area. You may want to consider using one of the settings as a cover for your bulletin, unless you are using the preprinted bulletin covers. The crown around the candle may be made from shiny Gold paper, Gold oilcloth (generally found in a fabric store, near the table cloth fabrics). It must be shiny, not dull]

SURFACE: Place several risers on the main worship center. They should be placed with the higher riser in the center back of the worship setting. Other risers may be placed on the worship table. Place a riser in front of the worship center.

FABRIC: Cover the table in white fabric (the traditional color for the day) making sure that there is enough fabric to cover the riser in front of the table and that the fabric "puddles" on the floor. Using light blue or gold fabric create a flowing drape from the center, riser, across the table and down onto the riser on the floor, with some of the fabric puddling on the floor. The blue fabric represents hope; gold represents Christ the King.

FLOWERS AND FOLIAGE You may want to use leafy plants behind the worship center and at the sides to soften the edges of the fabric.

CANDLES Use a large white pillar candle on the top riser to represent Christ the king. You may make a candle band in the form of a crown. Use smaller pillar candles in the various areas, such as the food area, the water area, the area where there is crutches, and the empty chair.

ROCKS & WOOD I would not use rocks and wood in this setting.

OTHER: Behind the large white candle, place a brass cross. This should be on the highest riser. On another riser, place a basket with breads and fruit spilling from it. Put one of the smaller candles near this bread and fruit. On another riser, place a large clear pitcher and a clear bowl with water, you may also place a small towel beneath the bowl, overlapping the riser so that it shows. Place one of the smaller pillar candles near this setting. On the riser in front of the worship center, place a set of crutches and some bandages or something representing one who is ill and put another small candle near this center. Finally, slightly off to the side, place an empty chair to represent the stranger. Put a robe on it, representing clothing, and place a pillar candle on the chair.

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