Sunday, November 20, 2022

The Sunday Lectionary and Prayers for Sunday, November 20, 2022

The Sunday Lectionary and Prayers
Sunday, November 20, 2022 —- Last Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 46; Luke 1:68-79; Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43
[Ordinary 34, Proper 29]
(Revised Common Lectionary Year C)

Reign of Christ / Christ the King

Opening Statement
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.”

Come, let us sing to the LORD!

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.

The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 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.

Words of Assurance
Even though we doubt God’s faithfulness to us, yet God is steadfast in God’s love for each one of us. Receive that love in your hearts this day. Know that you are healed and forgiven in God’s sight. Amen.

Prayer of the Day
Patient God, we seem to think that being people of faith is a campaign for your favor. We posture and make gestures of holiness and grace, but then we easily slide back into habits of self-centeredness. Yet you have forgiven us, each time, calling us beloved children. Today we are about to complete the journey of this Christian year, during which we have learned of the witness of Jesus Christ, the birth and growth of the church, and the great lessons of the Hebrew Scriptures. This year has been an opportunity for us to renew our acquaintance with all those who have gone before, who have been faithful disciples. Help us take these lessons into our hearts and lives. Let the reign of Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, our Savior, be evident in all that we say, think, and do. Give us the confidence and courage to truly be your witnesses all the rest of our days. For we offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

First Reading
(Coming of the shepherd)
Restoration after Exile
23:1 Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. 3 Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord.

The Righteous Branch of David
5 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

A Psalm and A Prayer
Responsive Readings from the Psalms and Prayers
for Public Worship and Private Devotions

Psalm 46
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of the city.

The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter. He utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Come, behold the works of the Lord. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear.

“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for creating us in Your image. We thank You for the ability to reason, make decisions, and enjoy the beautiful world You created. We thank You for meaningful relationships with You and others, made possible through Jesus Christ our Lord. We thank You for Your Spirit, Who indwells us and guides us daily. We give thanks for the gift of eternal life, even as we pray in Jesus’ name: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy 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 thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.”

Second Reading
(A hymn to Christ firstborn of all creation)
1:11 May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

The Supremacy of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

The Gospel
(Jesus crucified with two thieves)
23:33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [[34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”]] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35 And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 He replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

[Luke 23:34 Other ancient authorities lack the sentence Then Jesus . . . what they are doing]

Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Closing Prayer

In the name of the Father and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

God of love and mercy,
You call us to be your people,
You gift us with Your abundant grace.
Make us a holy people,
radiating the fullness of your love.
Form us into a community of people who care,
expressing Your compassion.
Remind us day after day of our baptismal call
to serve with joy and courage.
Teach us how to grow in wisdom and grace
and joy in Your presence.
Through Jesus and Your Spirit,
we make this prayer. Amen.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.The Sunday Lectionary and Prayers for Sunday, November 20, 2022
Jeremiah 23:1-6; Psalm 46; Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43

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