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Least of These, The

Description

Here are worship resources inspired by Jesus’ vivid description of what the final judgment will look like.

Scripture

Matthew 25:31-46

Prayers

Prayer: You Offer Us the Kingdom

We name you gracious Master and our God,
Great Redeemer and King.
You offer us the kingdom, Lord Jesus;
a realm where the hungry are fed,
the thirsty are given something to drink;
and the homeless are housed,

You offer us a realm where
those who are shivering are clothed,
the sick are visited,
those in prison hear good news.

We wonder how we are to receive such a gift:
Will you require of us more than what we are already doing?
Will you judge us for
what we have done and what we have left undone?
Will you leave us out of your community of salvation?

In your great love and mercy,
move us beyond fear;
move us beyond guilt;
move us beyond our anxious worry.
Move us deeper into your surprising grace;
Heal the blindness that does not see you
when you come to us in distressing disguise.

Set us free from serving lesser gods.

Most of all, form in us the mind of Christ,
so that we see the world through your eyes,
so that our hearts are broken by the things
that break your heart, and
so that we delight in the things that delight you,
and you create in us courage enough not to duck.

We ask in your life-giving name.

~ written by Christine Jerrett, and posted on Christine Jerrett: Reflections on being the Church in God's new creation.
http://christinejerrett.wordpress.com/

Prayer of Commitment

Let us pray that our love of God
may become real and tangible
in our love of our neighbor.
(pause)

God, you display your almighty power
in loving us without regret.
In the human heart of Jesus your Son
you have shown us how far love can go.

Give us a love that is forgiving,
generous and gentle like his,
that we may recognize and welcome him
in our brothers and sisters.
And may our hearts reach out first
to the poorest and the least lovable,
with the gratuitous love you have given us
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

~ from Liturgies Alive, Models of Celebration.
http://www.bibleclaret.org/liturgy/CycleA/

Love in Action

Your love, O God,
is an active love:
engaged,
involved,
immersed.

Your love, O God,
is seen in what you do, not just in what you say:
in the blessing of children,
in the meals with outcasts,
in the touching of the untouchable,
in your presence,
and your self-giving,
in your opening of the way to life
to all who will come;

And your love, O God,
is expressed through people like us:
as we share our wealth in simplicity and generosity;
as we share wholeness in care and healing
of the sick and broken;
as we share hospitality by being truly present
to the lonely, the imprisoned and the marginalized;
as we share peace in kindness, listening and acceptance
with those who challenge us, confront us and threaten us.

As you have loved us in incarnate action, O God,
may we learn to be little incarnations
through whom your love is expressed and experienced
in action.

Amen.

~ Written by John van de Laar, and posted on Sacredise.com.
http://sacredise.com/

Spoken Resources

Call to Worship

We come, for God gathers us here,
with that community called faith:
where the hungry are served first,
where the thirsty drink life's water.

We come, for God welcomes us here
into that home called grace:
where the naked are clothed in robes of hope;
where the stranger is embraced as the long-lost prodigal.

We come, for God reunites us here,
sisters and brothers in that family called love:
where the imprisoned model justice,
where the sick are cradled in God's peace.

~ written by Thom Shuman, and posted on Lectionary Liturgies website.
http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com/2008/11/reign-of-christ.html

True Evangelical Faith

Worship Together #652

True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant.
It clothes the naked,
it feeds the hungry,
it comforts the sorrowful,
it shelters the destitute,
it serves those that harm it,
it binds up that which is wounded,
it has become all things to all people.

~ Menno Simons, 1539

Benediction

When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
then he will sit upon his glorious throne.
And he will say to those on his right,
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world.”

It is not enough to acclaim Jesus Christ
as our Lord and King.
Our mission in life is
to make his kingdom a reality among us
and to bring it to those around us
by our words and deeds.
The way to do this is to live as he lived:
for others, in love and service.
May almighty God bless you for this task:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
and to give shape to his kingdom.
Thanks be to God!

~ from Liturgies Alive, Models of Celebration.
http://www.bibleclaret.org/liturgy/CycleA/

Sending Out

Christ the feet-washer and the friend of sinners is your only King;
therefore no menial service for others is beneath your dignity
and no individual is unworthy of your concern and respect.
Let it be so, dear Lord, let it be.

You cannot be a mini-Christ to everyone who is in trouble
but you can be Christ’s agent for some.
Therefore I charge you in the name of Christ to keep your eyes and hearts open,
and you will recognise those in whom Christ comes to you for mercy.
Let it be so, dear Lord, let it be.

The love of Christ Jesus ever enfold you,
the love of God ever encircle you,
the fellowship of the Spirit ever enrich you,
now and evermore!
Amen!

~ written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Homepage.
http://www.bruceprewer.com/DocA/64XKing.htm

Songs

Contemporary Hymn: Let Your Heart Be Broken

Worship Together #650

Let your heart be broken for a world in need.
Feed the mouths that hunger,
Soothe the wounds that bleed,
Give the cup of water and the loaf of bread.
Be the hands of Jesus, serving in His stead.

Here on earth applying principles of love,
Visible expression
God still rules above,
Living illustration of the Living Word,
To the minds of all who've never seen or heard.

Add to your believing deeds that prove it true.
Knowing Christ as Savior,
Make Him Master, too.
Follow in His footsteps, Go where He has trod.
In the world's great trouble, risk yourself for God.

Let your heart be tender and your vision clear.
See mankind as God sees,
Serve Him far and near;
Let your heart be broken by another's pain,
Share your rich resources...Give and give again.

~ Bryan Jeffery Leech. Words copyright © 1975 The Evangelical Covenant Church. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Tune suggestions:
WYE VALLEY (“Like a river glorious” without refrain):

Contemporary Song: By Our Love

Brothers let us come together
Walking in the Spirit
There's much to be done
We will come reaching
Out from our comforts
And they will know us by our love

Sisters we were made for kindness
We can pierce the darkness
As He shines through us
We will come reaching
With a song of healing
And they will know us by our love

The time is now
Come church arise
Love with His hands
See with His eyes
Bind it around you
Let it never leave you
And they will know us by our love

Children you are hope for justice
Stand firm in the Truth now
Set your hearts above
You will be reaching
Long after we're gone
And they will know you by your love

~ Christy Nockels. Copyright © 2009 worshiptogether.com Songs (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing); sixsteps Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing); Christy Nockels Publishing Designee (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing). CCLI Song # 5489329. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Listen to it here:
http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=1052518

Contemporary Song: God of Justice

Jesus You have called us
Freely we've received
Now freely we will give

We must go
Live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken
We must go
Stepping forward
Keep us from just singing
Move us into action
We must go

God of Justice Savior to all
Came to rescue the weak and the poor
Chose to serve and not be served

To act justly every day
Loving mercy in every way
Walking humbly before You God

You have shown us what You require
Freely we've received
Now freely we will give

~ Tim Hughes. Copyright © 2004 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing). CCLI Song # 4447128. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Listen to it here:
http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=558725

Images

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Additional Resources

Readers’ Theatre: Matthew 25:31–46
http://re-worship.blogspot.ca/2011/11/readers-theatre-matthew-25-31-46.html

Notes

This worship resource was created/compiled by Christine Longhurst. You are welcome to use it free of charge, and where appropriate, please note the source. If you are printing any of the resources for distribution, please print the source as well. The content of the worship resource does not necessarily represent the views of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which oversees the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. For more worship resources by Christine Longhurst, see http://www.re-worship.blogspot.ca or http://www.faithmatters.ca.

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