Today is the last day of the Church Year, Christ the King Sunday. The Church Year begins with readings which anticipate the coming of Jesus, and it ends with the proclamation that Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords! To Him shall all knees bow, and all tongues confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father! Thanks be to God!
The First Reading, recorded in Isaiah 51:4-6, is a prophecy of hope to the people of Israel in captivity in Babylon. The people are urged to look to the Lord, Whose salvation and righteousness are forever; the world will pass away, but the Lord and His actions to save are forever.
Holy and awesome God, we give You thanks and praise for Your promise through Isaiah to give everlasting salvation and righteousness. In the midst of the turmoil and trials of this world, keep our eyes fixed on You, knowing You are faithful to keep Your promises. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
The psalm for today is Psalm 93. It is a psalm of praise, giving glory to the Lord for His rule and majesty over all, even over the roaring and chaos of the sea. Let us join in this song of praise and trust the words of the Lord.
Almighty God, ruler of all, to You we give all honor, glory, thanks and praise! We thank and praise You that no power, not even death, is greater than You. We thank and praise You that You reveal Yourself to us in the words of Scripture. Keep us faithful to You as You are faithful to us. We pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The Second Reading is recorded in Revelation 1:4b-8. Notice the glorious words spoken about the heavenly Father and of Jesus: He is, was, and is to come – He is in the present with us, in the past, and already in the future, He is the beginning and the end, He is almighty. Notice that Jesus is the firstborn of the dead, and His resurrection gives Him the power and authority to rule over all, even sin, death, and the devil. Notice also the reason Jesus died and rose again – to free us from our sins by His blood, to make us a kingdom and priests to serve God.
These verses draw our eyes away from ourselves and place them firmly on the heavenly Father, the Spirit, and on Jesus. Let us always keep our eyes on the Lord, seeing with faith Who He is and what He has done to redeem us.
Holy God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, keep our eyes fixed on You, on Your glory and majesty, and on the redemption You have accomplished through Your shed blood on the cross. Continually remind us that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever, and the we can trust You now and into eternity. Enable us to rejoice that we are part of Your kingdom, and enable us to serve You. In Your holy Name we pray. Amen.
The Gospel is recorded in Mark 13:24-37. This is part of the Little Apocalypse in the Gospel of Mark. This passage gives us hope as the world continues to spiral downward in hardship and heartache: Jesus will return and take His followers to be with Him forever. Notice that we won’t know the day nor the hour, but that we are urged to stay awake, His return, or our death, might come at any moment. Remain in faith, always trusting in the Lord to fulfill His promises.
Holy Jesus, keep us always vigilant, waiting and watching for Your return, knowing You will return at the right time. As we wait, keep us faithful to grow in You and to share the Good News of forgiveness, life, and love in You. We pray in Your holy Name – Jesus. Amen.