Worship Elements: November 20, 2022

March 20th, 2022

Christ the King Sunday

COLOR: White or Gold
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 1:68-79; Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43


This is no ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it Sunday, or even an onward-and-upward perfecting of the present order Sunday. Ordinary time gives way to Advent, but for one week we offer a prophetic salute to Christ’s reign: no plea, no mere hope or prediction, but rather a celebration that God certainly will sweep away the old. The days are surely coming, and they will be proclaimed: a new dominion of
just, righteous days; a rescue from oppressive powers; light erasing death’s shadow, even in the bitter plight of one unjustly executed and sarcastically taunted as “king.”


Call to Worship (Jeremiah 23, Luke 1)

It is done.
God has always been in charge—
yesterday and today.
Even when things seem out of control,
God’s reign is on its way.
Let us prepare the way for God.

Opening Prayer (Jeremiah 23, Colossians 1)

Faithful God, expand our thankful imaginations:
to time beyond our time,
to wisdom beyond our wisdom,
to strength beyond our strength.
As we pray for your coming reign,
remind us that the whole earth
is already yours.
Even as we pray for things not yet seen,
help us celebrate your sure, eternal reign. Amen.


Prayer of Confession (Jeremiah 23, Colossians 1)

Imagining your reign
can be difficult, eternal God.
It is difficult to picture a world
governed by your justice
and righteousness alone.
Our minds are held captive
by the worst images
of human kings, rulers, and powers.
When nobler visions fail
and we settle for kingdoms
of our own making,
correct and forgive us.
Free the borders of our imaginations,
that we may envision your greater good
and celebrate the coming of your reign
on earth as in heaven. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon (Luke 1)

Hear the prophecy of Zechariah:
Tender mercy and forgiveness
are the ways of God. We are forgiven.
Let the church say

Response to the Word (Jeremiah 23)

May the word take root in our hearts, that we may be fruitful bearers of God’s wisdom. Amen.


Offering Prayer (Jeremiah 23, Luke 23)

Your days are surely coming, Holy One,
just as surely as the needs of this world are real.
We offer these gifts
in awe of your victory over the cross
and in celebration
of your present and coming reign,
that life—even life abundant—
might multiply for all people.
Bless these gifts,
that they may be used
according to your will. Amen.


Benediction (Colossians 1, Luke 1)

Go joyfully. Give thanks to God.
Endure with strength and patience.
And may your feet be guided in the ways of peace. Amen.


Contemporary Gathering Words (Jeremiah 23, Luke 1)

Amid the holiday rush, let’s pause to reflect:
not yet on a stable, or star, or Advent candles,
or everything for which we’re thankful.
Those days are surely coming, but others are as well:
days of holiness and righteousness,
salvation and safety, deliverance and rescue;
the dawn of a day when God’s tender mercy
will trump oppression and death.
Such are the days of Christ’s reign.
They are surely coming! Let’s celebrate today!

Praise Sentences (Colossians 1, Luke 1)

God has raised up a mighty savior!
Prepare the way! Serve God without fear!
Thrones, dominions, rulers, powers—
these are all as dust before our God.
Prepare the way! Serve God without fear!
Praise be to God and the day of God’s favor.
Prepare the way! Serve God without fear!

From The Abingdon Worship Annual edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. 

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