Thought for the Day

Christ the King: 22nd November 2020

Ephesians 1: 15 – 23; Matthew 25: 31 – 46

Matthew 25: 31 – 46

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

The Feast of Christ the King is one I really value – even though I am conscious that St Clement’s will be celebrating their Patronal festival today – so please remember our sister church in your prayers.  But the Feast of Christ the King is at the culmination of the liturgical year – the year ends and next week we celebrate the beginning of Advent, as we begin to light new lights. And we WILL light new lights – even if only in our own homes!!  This year it seems as if that will be an important event in our darkening year. But today – this ‘final’ Sunday in the liturgical year – we celebrate the Kingship of our Lord.  Jesus Christ, who came among us as one of us, a tiny child, who walked and worked on this earth, who was crucified, who rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven.  He now reigns over all things.

And so, in our brief collect for today we pray that we might be enabled to follow the calling of Jesus now and for ever. And that calling is highlighted in the Gospel reading: give food and water to the hungry, welcome strangers, clothe the naked, visit the sick and those folk who are in prison.  Well that could be an ‘easy’ task – as a paper exercise perhaps it is…. but if we are really to follow in Christ’s service it will be costly and challenging. And it is also a set of tasks that is feasible if underpinned by prayer – for we will be enabled to do those things to which Christ calls us. And so if you feel unable to be practically involved in those things – then allow the hungry, strangers, folk needing clothes, the sick and prisoners – allow them to inform your prayers.

And so, we finish with words from the letter to the Ephesians:

“I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.”

Thanks be to God

We pray together….
God the Father,
help us to hear the call of Christ the King
and to follow in his service,
whose kingdom has no end;
for he reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, one glory.  Amen
And as we pray today, we remember too our sisters and brothers at St Clement’s Church, Sandwich.
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, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Go in the peace of Christ
Thanks be to God