SOUTHAMPTON METHODIST CIRCUIT
Printed Service for Sunday 20th November offered by Rev Stephen Robinson

CALL TO WORSHIP
As we draw together to worship,
let us remember that we are in the presence of a King,
not a king for whom we have to dress up and paint the building,
but a king who loves us and comes to us just as we are.
So come, Holy Spirit; come, enter this space,
enter our hearts and minds and draw us into the presence of our King, the King of Kings.


HYMN STF 317 At the name of Jesus


Prayers of adoration
Let us pray.
Give us, O God, a vision of your glory, that we may worship you in spirit and in truth,
and offer the praise of glad and thankful hearts; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
You are worthy, our Lord and God;
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you have created all things:
and by your will they were created and have their being.
You are worthy, O Christ, for you were slain:
1and with your blood you redeemed the human race for God,
and have chosen us to be a holy priesthood from every people and nation.
To the One who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb:
be blessing and honour, glory and might, for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
Let us call to mind our sins.
Silence
Lord Jesus, you came into the world to save sinners:
Lord, have mercy.
We have brought sorrow and hurt to you, to others and to ourselves:
Christ, have mercy.
You give yourself to heal and renew us, and to bring us strength:
Lord, have mercy.
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and keep us in life eternal. Amen.


Hymn King of kings, majesty,
God of heaven living in me.

2Reading: Colossians Chapter 1 verses 15-20
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the
firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was
pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.


Sermon
This Sunday is designated as Christ the King Sunday, a designation that is fairly recent in liturgical terms,first established in 1925. It is a day to celebrate and remember Christ’s kingship over all creation, as well as remind us that all mankind must submit to Christ’s rule. It also marks the end of the liturgical year as it completes the Christian journey through the life of Jesus Christ on earth and in heaven which began with the preparation for the birth of Jesus in Advent. We start again with Advent next week!


This year this designation has a different feel to it. For the last 35 years of my preaching ministry I’ve
started off by saying that we struggle with this concept, as our monarch is a Queen. This year we have a King..King Charles, which may help us a little!
But what image comes to mind when we think of a King? Words we might use in our context would be:
regal, stately, royal, authority, ruler. In less benevolent examples around the world and in history, other
words might be used such as dictator, abuser of power, warlords. So what do we mean by saying that Jesusis King and is it helpful?
In the New Testament the word King, when referring to Jesus, signifies someone who possesses supreme power. Our reading is a good example of that, where Paul describes Jesus as:

  • The Son is the image of the invisible God,
  • the firstborn over all creation.
  • in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones
    or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
  • He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
  • He is the head of the body, the church;
  • He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
  • God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
  • Through him God reconciled to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by
    making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Wow! That’s our Jesus! You may just want to pause for a moment and read all of that again……and maybe just spend some moments in praise (maybe using the words of the last hymn?)
But Jesus is a King with a difference. He does not laud it over his subjects. He came into this world humbly and meekly to serve and to seek the lost. To bring reconciliation through his death on the cross (verse 20)
as he brought his kingdom into sharp contrast with the kingdoms of this world.
And so those of us who call ourselves Christians are the subjects of our King Jesus. We seek to build His
kingdom here on earth. We are called to accept and live out the full ‘wow’ of Jesus as King. The question is ‘have you subjected yourself to the Kingship of Jesus?’ I remember many years ago a preacher saying ‘If Jesus isn’t Lord of all in your life, then he is not Lord at all. You cannot follow half a Lord’ The same can be true of Jesus as King ‘If he is not King of all in your life, he is not king at all. You cannot follow half a King’
So on this Christ the King Sunday we commit ourselves to Jesus being King of our lives and to live out the values and lifestyle of His kingdom. That he might not only be King of ALL of our lives, but we pray for that day when His kingdom will be over all the EARTH.


HYMN STF 63 Over all the earth, you reign on high,

Intercessions
In faith let us pray to God our Father,in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ the King, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
God of love, we pray for the life of your Church throughout the world . . . May every congregation be a
community of love and every Christian a witness to your grace. Renew all who worship in this place that we may be a living fellowship in your Spirit and serve our neighbourhood.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done.
God of mercy, we pray for the life of the world . . . and for those who exercise power . . . Show us how to live as members of the human family; to reject the ways of war; to bear each other’s burdens and to work together for justice and peace.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done.
God of compassion, we pray for those who are ill or anxious at home or in hospital . . . We pray for those
whose lives are filled with fear and despair . . . Draw near with your saving love and bring healing and
hope.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done.
God of glory, we rejoice in the communion of saints; we remember all who have faithfully lived and all who
have died in Christian hope, especially . . . Help us to follow their example and bring us with them into the
fullness of your eternal joy.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done.


Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your 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 yours is the kingdom, the
power and the glory, for ever and ever. AMEN.


HYMN STF 319 Christ triumphant, ever reigning,


Blessing
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is
at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and
ever.

And the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen

Prayers are taken from the Methodist Worship Book Holy Communion Ordinary Seasons 3