Time in the Word
Christ the King
November 17-22, 2014
Preparation for the Kingship of Christ
The Lessons for this coming week deal with the Last Sunday of the Church year, Christ the King Sunday. On Christ the King Sunday, it is obvious that the kingship of Christ is the theme. The church year closes with a climax in which Jesus is crowned Lord of all. His kingship is universal and eternal. The Gospel portrays Jesus as King-Judge of all nations. The Old Testament lesson is related to the Gospel by the fact that Jesus compares his sheep to himself. Paul depicts Jesus as the victor over the world with all things under Christ’s feet, including death. The Prayer of the Day refers to the Theme of the Day: “King of all Creation” and “The glorious and gentle rule of your Son.” The Psalms pick up the idea of the sheep, but there is reference to “a King above all gods.” The Hymn of the Day uses the phrase “King of kings and Lord of lords,” and refers to the coming judgment.
Collect for Christ the King – Merciful and gracious Lord, You cause Your word to be proclaimed in every generation. Stir up our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that we may receive this proclamation with humility and finally be exalted at the coming of Your Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Prayer for responsible citizenship – Lord keep this nation under Your care. Bless the leaders of our land that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to the other nations of the earth. Help us provide trustworthy leaders, contribute to wise decisions for the general welfare, and thus serve You faithfully in our generation to the honor of Your holy name.
For blessing on the Word – Lord God, bless Your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet Your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May Your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as You have promised, Your Word may achieve the purpose for which You send it; through Jesus Christ, my Lord.
A prayer before we study the Word – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without Your help our labor is useless, and without Your light our search is in vain. Invigorate the study of Your holy Word that, by due diligence and right discernment, we may establish ourselves and others in Your holy faith.
Monday, November 17, 2014 - Psalm 39:4-5, 7-8, 12a - The Antiphon for this coming Sunday is from 2 Peter 3:13, “ In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth the home of the righteous.”
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 – Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 - The Shepherd King will gather His people. As the shepherd for his people, Yahweh will seek the lost, gather, and feed his sheep with David as the prince among them. A popular metaphor for a religious-political leader in Judah was “shepherd.” False shepherds, says Ezekiel, led Judah to ruin and captivity. So, the Lord will be her shepherd who will bring his sheep out of captivity in Babylon, feed them with justice, and restore them to their former homeland. The nation will be restored under a new leader, a Messiah, a son of David.
The Lord says He will be the shepherd of His people. A shepherd is considered a king in Hebrew writings. He acts like a king who cares for his people. He is a good shepherd, the perfect one. He does only good for his people; seeks, gathers, and feeds them. He has compassion on the lost, the crippled and the weak. Nor does he neglect the healthy ones whom he feeds with justice. “My God, how wonderful thou art!”
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 – 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 - The King will conquer the world. God has put all things in subjection to Christ. On this Christ the King Sunday, we see Christ as the king over death. His resurrection was the first person to rise from death. Since He rose, the Christian dead will also rise. At the end of time, He will deliver His kingdom to God. All enemies, including death, will be defeated by King Jesus. Then the Son will subject himself to God the Father that God may be everything to everyone.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 – Matthew 25:31-46 – Jesus will judge the nations. Christ the King will judge the nations. At the end of time Christ is to come as judge of the nations. As Shepherd-King, Jesus will separate the sheep and goats, the good and the bad. The basis of the separation is the nations’ ministering or lack of ministering to the hungry, thirsty, sick, and imprisoned. The passage is not primarily an appeal for social justice or economic aid.
The main point of the parable is the coming separation of the good and the bad who are destined either for heaven or hell. It should also be noted that what was done to Christ was done not to people in general, but to “the least of these my brethren.” The brethren are Jesus’ disciples.
The word “Me” is used fourteen times in this lesson. It refers to Christ. Is Christ the one who is hungry, naked, and in prison? The sick “brother” is not Christ himself; the hungry man is not Christ.
When we help the needy, we do it as to Christ. This is because Jesus identifies with the afflicted. When we love someone, we say to one who helps the beloved, “What you do for him, you do for me.” Anyone who befriends your child is automatically a friend of yours. Thus in everything we do we do it unto the Lord.
Friday, November 21, 2014 - Psalm 95:1-7a - This Psalm is the one appointed for this Sunday. Verse 7a is the key verse, “We are the people of his pasture.” Our Savior has promised to shepherd us; we are never in want. Thus we cast our worries and cares into His hands as He orders our days and directs our path. He alone is our good shepherd and king.
Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Hebrews 2:19 - Our reading is the inspiration for the hymn, “The Head that Once was Crowned with Thorns.” As the Church year comes to a close, we recall that He who Ascended will return in glory. If we are prepared to receive Him on the last great day, we will be ready to celebrate at the time of His birth. The baby in the manger, the death of the man on the cross, and the king who comes in triumph are all one in the same – Jesus our Savior.
LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO
LECTIONALRY PREACHING WORKBOOK SERIES A © 1980 John Brokhoff CSS Publishing Lima, OH
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