In Christ's Glory

There Is Now

Reign of Christ/Thanksgiving Sunday, Year A

Reign of Christ or Christ the King Sunday is an opportunity to be reminded who is the one we have chosen to follow. It is an opportunity to give thanks for the author of salvation and the one who has given us the gift of the church, the fellowship of the body that we celebrate each time we gather in person or online.

Is it possible to combine Thanksgiving Sunday with Reign of Christ (or Christ the King) Sunday? Of course it is. See the opening planning notes for more conversation on that. But with the white paraments, it is both a regal setting for the sovereign Christ and a lavish table set with the bounty of God’s grace. The worship team may choose to lean into these images with foodstuff but also with symbols of authority adorning the table and chancel. There is also a sense of welcome to the table; the family gathers to give thanks in this service.

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.


Prayer of Confession

Merciful God, we get so caught up in our own lives and needs that we fail to see others for whom we might provide some help and relief. You challenge us to feed those who are hungry and to quench the thirst of those who are parched. You ask us to bring clothing to those who have none or for whom the clothing is inadequate for the weather; to visit people who are sick, alone, alienated, who are imprisoned either in cells with bars or in conditions of hopelessness and poverty that they see no way out; to welcome the stranger and reach out to those who are marginalized; to always bring your words of healing and redeeming love. We have failed in these tasks – we ignore the opportunities and claim that we are too busy to help, too busy to care. How this attitude must sadden you, O Lord. You lavish your gifts upon us that we might use them for the betterment of your realm, and we treat them as inconveniences. Forgive us, O God. Forgive us and heal our wounds of greed and selfishness. Let us greet this day when the hope of the Reign of Christ can be made manifest and we can be part of this glorious kingdom of peace and compassion. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.

Words of Assurance

In the name of Jesus Christ who brings peace and hope to us, we are forgiven, healed and enabled to be part of the ministries of compassion in God’s world. Rejoice! You are chosen and loved! AMEN.

By Nancy C. Townley,

Prayer of Confession


God of love, you created us to love you and one another. We confess that we have sometimes limited that love to words, and failed to make that love real by our actions. We have failed to recognize Christ in the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the naked, the incarcerated and the sick. Too often, we have turned away from your presence, failing to share what we have with our brothers and sisters in need. Forgive us. Turn our hearts, and guide us to follow in your ways anew.

Words of Assurance

Leader: Our God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

All: God is good to all, and has compassion for all creation.


One: O God of promises, you remind us again and again that you are present with your people. When our hearts are broken,
All: You are here.

One: When we wait in worry to hear about a diagnosis,
All: You are here.

One: When we lose the ones we love,
All: You are here.

One: Where anyone is hungry or thirsty,
All: You are here.

One: When we feel like strangers,
All: You are here.

One: Where anyone is sick or in need of care and company,
All: You are here.

One: When people are in prison,
All: You are here.

One: When anyone needs clothing,
All: You are here.

One: Loving God, You are here with us when we suffer. Empower us to be with others as they suffer, our neighbors both near and far. You are here, God, in the midst of suffering—and we want to be where you are.
All: Amen.

Source: Church of the Brethren,


Dear God, help us to look for you in the face of our neighbor, that in caring for others we discover the joy and glory of your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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.

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.


Charge & Benediction

We worship God in sanctuaries, in beautiful, holy spaces. But Christ has told us that if we want to find him in this world, we will seek out the lost, the least of his brothers and sisters—those who are hungry, thirsty, sick, in prison, naked and estranged. May we go forth this day with eyes open to seeing Christ in our world, and may we know God’s love by loving one another. May we love, not just in word and speech, but in truth and action.

"Christ Has No Body,” – Teresa of Avila

Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which the compassion of Christ must look out on the world. Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which He is to bless His people.

In This Series...

Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Reign of Christ/Thanksgiving Sunday, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes


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In This Series...

Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Reign of Christ/Thanksgiving Sunday, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes