On this final Sunday of the church year our gospel is Jesus’ great story of judgment. in the end, the faithful are those who served Christ by ministering to those who are poor, hungry, naked, sick, or estranged. In the first reading God is the shepherd who seeks to the lost, weak, and injured and feeds them with justice. We gather this day to celebrate the reign of Christ and his victory over death, yet we await the consummation of all things yet to come. Acknowledging Christ as our merciful ruler, we go forth that his reign may be known in our loving words and deeds.
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
God will shepherd Israel
We are the people of God’s pasture and the sheep of God’s hand.
The reign of Christ
The coming of the Son of Man; the separation of sheep and goats
Worship Themes and Music
In today’s gospel God, the ruler of the universe, encourages us to serve the least among us. While we might expect the almighty ruler to require service that benefits the throne, God encourages us to assist the least among us. Of course, the great paradox is that in serving the least among us, we end up following the great command given to us to love God and love neighbor and by doing so we are serving God.
In worship this week we are singing about this very truth in our song “O God beyond All Praising” where in the third verse we sing “Then hear, O gracious Savior, accept the love we bring, that we who know your favor may serve you as our King.” Also, in our hymn of the day we sing of a God whose power and majesty are made known fully in sacrifice in service to those in need.
Serving the least among us means being in conversation with the community. Where are the needs in our community and how do you see yourself fulfilling them?
God performed the ultimate act of service when Jesus denied himself on the cross and while wearing a crown of thorns. How can we as the church as a whole or as individuals follow Jesus’ example and deny ourselves for the betterment of our community?