The theme for the last Sunday of the church year is the King and His Kingdom. Without any difficulty, the theme of kingship can be seen in the lessons. We now come to the end of the church year. Throughout the year, we have covered the life, work, and teachings of Jesus, and it comes to a glorious climax today with a “Hallelujah Chorus.” The Gospel reminds us that Jesus’ kingdom is not a worldly kingdom. The Old Testament lesson pictures the Son of Man upon His ascension receiving an eternal and universal kingdom. The King of kings will return to earth, according to the Epistle lesson. The refrain of the Psalm for the day could not be plainer: “The Lord is King.”
Collect for Christ the King – Lord Jesus Christ, so govern our hearts and minds by Your Holy Spirit that, ever mindful of Your glorious return, we may persevere in both faith and holiness of living; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Monday, 16 November 2015—Psalm 39:4-5, 7-8, 12a, Antiphon, 2 Peter 3:13b–We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. The Antiphon expresses the desire of every believing child of God – to be home with the Lord. This is our destiny. We are not earthbound. We are only strangers here – heaven is our home.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015—Psalm 93; key verse, verse 1 - “The Lord is King.” This refrain is the theme of the entire day – The Lord is King. He is the king above all other kings, the one and true God. We offer Him our worship and praise for He is worthy of our worship, praise, glory and honor. He is truly the Christ, our King.
Wednesday, 18 November 2015—Daniel 7:13-14 – God gives the Son of Man an eternal kingdom. A vision of the Son of Man’s presentation to the Lord who gave Him an indestructible kingdom. Here we get the picture of one like a son of man appearing before the Lord, not coming to earth as in Mark 13. By the time of the New Testament, the Son of Man was conceived as an individual, a heavenly figure. Jesus used the term to signify His Messiahship. This is the proclamation of the final establishment of Christ’s kingly rule. It says that at the end all things in the world will be subject to Christ and that all nations will serve Him. This is the basis for Christian hope.
Thursday, 19 November 2015—Revelation 1:4b-8 – The King of kings return will be seen by all. Christ the King of kings will return to the earth. This passage contains a greeting similar to Paul’s, a doxology, an announcement of Jesus’ return, and God’s declaration of His being alpha and omega. Grace and peace come from the Trinity: (God-father; Christ-son; Holy Spirit – “seven spirits,” the seven-fold gifts of the Spirit.) The beginning and the end of the passage deal with God, but Christ is the subject of the central section. Jesus is a witness, the firstborn of the dead, the King of kings (death, resurrection and ascension.) Because of His love, Jesus redeemed us, made us a kingdom, and will come to judge the earth.
Friday, 20 November 2015—John 18:33-37 – Christ’s kingship is totally other than this world. Jesus explains to Pilate that, though He is a king, His kingship is not of this world. Pilate has Jesus inside his court and the Jews are outside. Pilate is torn between the two. He is trying to make up his mind by asking Jesus questions. His first question is whether Jesus is a king. This is a political term and thus it is very dangerous. Jesus dodges the question by asking Pilate if this was his or others’ opinion. The other question concerns what Jesus has done. Jesus explains that His kingship is not of this world. This is proved by the fact that Jesus is not using force to defend Himself. Jesus explains that His mission in the world was to bear witness to the truth. But, only those of the truth and of God will accept His words as truth.
Why was Jesus born? Here we have the answer in Jesus’ own words He was born to bear witness of the truth. He was sent by God. He was given a message. He had a destiny. Because of this, He had a reason to live and knew the meaning of life. In a world where many drift and are confused as to the way and wherefore of life, Christ has a message: Discover your divine destiny. As a follower of Christ, one’s mission is to bear witness to the truth – the truth of God’s love for a fallen humanity.
Saturday, 21 November 2015—Colossians 1:5, 20, 23, 27; Hebrews 1:2; 1 Peter 2:24 - The hymn is O Jesus King Most Wonderful (LSB 554). As you come to worship tomorrow, come expecting to offer your Savior the worship with which He is worthy. Come to offer Him your gift of adoration and praise. But do more than simply come to a worship service – in service worship Him.
Collect for the Glorious Reign of Christ — Lord God, heavenly Father, send forth Your Son, we pray, that he may lead home His bride, the Church, that we will all the redeemed may enter into Your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
A prayer for home and family – Visit, we implore You, O Lord, the homes in which Your people dwell, and keep far from them all harm and danger. Grant us to dwell together in peace under the protection of Your holy angels and may Your blessing be with us forever.
A prayer for Christ’s return – O Lord, absolve Your people from their offenses that from the bonds of our sins, which by reason of our weakness we have brought upon us, we may be delivered by Your bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
For strong faith in Christ – Almighty and ever-living God, since You have given exceedingly great and precious promises to those who believe, grant us so perfectly and without all doubt to believe in Your Son Jesus Christ, that our faith in Your sight may never be reproved; through our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
A prayer of supplication – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because You desire not the death of a sinner but rather that he should turn from his evil way and live, graciously turn away from us the punishments which we by our sins have deserved and which have been borne for us by our Lord Jesus Christ, and grant us ever to serve You in holiness and pureness of living; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.
Prayers from Lutheran Service Book © 2006 and Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House
Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational useLectionary Preaching Workbook Series B – John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH