Worship at Home for Sunday November 22 2020

Saint Peter’s United Church of Christ

 

112 West Peters Street Owensville, Missouri 65066

November 22, 2020 9am and Livestream

Reign of Christ Sunday/Totenfest

 

Prelude and lighting of the candles

Greetings and announcements

Video Opening: Preview of Advent

“I Believe Even When…” Worship Design Studio

Song by Mark Miller, used with permission

 

Moment of Silence

Opening Prayer

Glorious God, shine upon us with your Spirit of wisdom and truth.

Enlighten our hearts,

Help us to know the hope to which we are called.

Reveal your ways, that we might share hope and joy
in all that we do, and all that we say.
In the light of Christ’s love we pray. Amen.

*From the Abingdon Worship Annual 2020. Copyright © 2019 by Abingdon Press.
Copyright © Mary Scifres Used by permission.

 

Passing of the Peace (Smile and wave to those around you.)

 

Children’s Message Sharing God’s Blessings

Scripture Readings

Matthew 25:31-46

Ephesians 1:15-23

Sermon: Our Prayer

Most people have been praying a lot this year. There certainly have been a lot of things to pray about. Elections, wild weather and the global pandemic are national and international concerns. Then there are the more local concerns for our schools, health care, police and church. The way everyone has needed to adapt to the changing circumstances has us all praying for a return to what we idealize now as normal.

The saying goes that you can never step into the same river twice because the water that was flowing just a few moments earlier is not the same water flowing by now. The force of the water moves rocks, plants and more to new places. Sometimes the water overflows the banks and other times the water is just a trickle. Normal is often considered to be that place between the extremes of flood and drought. Normal is that place of calm when the stream is flowing peacefully.

Our passages today consider things that are anything but normal. Matthew addresses the end times and something that makes all of us uncomfortable, judgement. Judgement is the ultimate test taking, public speaking, performance evaluation experience. In this judgement passage those being judged were not even aware that a test had taken place. “When did we see you?” Is the question that both the sheep and the goats ask.

Jesus says when we care for the stranger or the least of these that we care for him. I think that most of do this occasionally, but not all the time. Being perpetually loving is so hard. The sheep that are successful in caring do not even realize that they have fed and clothed Jesus. Maybe God’s judgement is not about passing a test or living a checklist, but recognizing that Christ is King and choosing to live a life of love which celebrates Christ’s kingship.

How well do we live out of love? Do we really see the people around us who are hurting? Sometimes yes and sometimes not so much. Maybe this is where the grace of God comes in to play. When we are saved by grace, we live lives of such love that we want to care for others. When we see people as children of God, then we can reach out to them in love. That means everyone. The ones we agree with and the ones we disagree with. The people who look, act and believe like us and those who do not look, act and believe like us. The person who cut us off in traffic and the meek child in the corner. We love everyone.

Jesus loves everyone. Yes, sometimes he had to speak hard words of correction, but he loves us all. The people of Ephesus love. Paul begins his letter to them by saying how he has heard of their love for all the saints. Saints (hagio) are not perfect people, but those who are seeking to live out the good news of Jesus in a particular time and place. Paul gives thanks for them in his prayers.

Paul continues to speak about Jesus in his glory and how he prays for Jesus to give the believers in Ephesus wisdom and grace to live as true believers and to love. That is our prayer too that Jesus gives us the grace to live in his love and recognize that he is the one who rules over us. Jesus does not judge us based on how much money we have, how well we dress or our social group. Jesus judges us on the love we show and carry in our hearts. To love in Jesus’ name is our purpose.

This Sunday we recognize our true king Jesus who reigns in heaven and has the world under his feet. Jesus is the one who counts. Jesus is our rock in times that seem normal and times that seem chaotic and frightening. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ

Prayer:
God who rules over heaven and earth our hearts are lifted up to you in prayer this day. Remind us when we feel confident, frightened, angry or forlorn that Jesus is our ruler. Keep our hearts focused on the love of Christ and help us to see Jesus in everyone we meet.

The winds have been blowing this week and the world seems to be a scary and confusing place. May your holy presence offer comfort to those who are sick, hungry, homeless and grieving. Ease our troubled hearts and be in our hearts and minds today and always.

Take a moment to lift ourselves and others in prayer. Pray for those on our prayer list. Read through the names on our prayer list and imagine that God is surrounding them and us with healing love and strength.

Silent Prayer followed by the Lord’s Prayer

Prayer list:

Simon, Howard, Julia, Ahna, Mike, Josh, Priscilla, Duane, Janet, Grandpa David, Dorothy, Jacob, Jenny, Ann, Dale, Gayle, Don, Cheryl, Dustin, Pat, Student with eating disorder, Tate, Patricia, Roland, Aryanna, Amanda, Virginia, Matthew, Tom, Naomi, Vic, Jennelle, Charlie, James, Rick, Christy, Reagan, Kim, Lee, Kevin, Gaylynn, Liz’s sister in law, Naomi, Nathan, Jason, Cheryl, Daniel, Betty, Dax, Carter, Jock, Nancy, Pat, Malachi and Karen, Carolyn, Ellen, Shirley, Mary, Karen, Paul, Hal, Richard, Crystal, Edie, Paula, Jim, Judy, Laura F, Shirley, Butch, Joyce., Macie, Michel, Dorothy L, Corey, Lauren, Anonymous Cancer Patient, Bernice, Mike, Gary S., Linda, Pat, Gary, Laurie Lee, Gail, Brenda, Breana, Dean, Corey, Jeff, Nancy, Terry, Bev, Edgar, Angie, Mark, Mamie, Dave ,Anna, Ruth, Louise, Jim L., Peggy.

Special prayers:

  • Our Nation, the post-election process, the increase in Covid-19 cases and medical workers.
  • The family and friends of Art Enke who passed from this life on November 11.
  • The family and friends of David Skornia who passed from this life on November 18.
  • The family and friends of Cynthia Devore who passed from this life on November 14.

Goodwill/Offering

  • Please consider giving to Operation Christmas
  • Give thanks for all our blessings this Thanksgiving Season.
  • Share what you have whatever it is, it is enough.
  • Donate via PayPal on our website or write a check.

Prayer of Dedication 

We offer these gifts to you; as food and drink for a hungry world; as clothing and shelter for those who are naked and homeless; as kindness and compassion for those who are most in need of mercy.

Transform these gifts, that they might be your hands and feet in the world. Send us forth as your people, that all that we do and all that we say may be a glorious representation of your presence in the world. With gratitude, we pray. Amen.

*From the Abingdon Worship Annual 2020. Copyright © 2019 by Abingdon Press. Copyright © Mary Scifres Used by permission.

Totenfest:

We will be lighting candles as saying prayers for those who have died since November 21, 2019.

Thanksgiving Video

Permission is granted for use in online and/or in-person worship with credit: "© www.worshipdesignstudio.com. Used with permission."

Benediction May the love of God surround you today and every day. And may you share that love with the world. Amen.

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