November 20, 2011
Christ the King / Last Sunday after Pentecost
FIRST READING: Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
11The LORD God then said:
I will look for my sheep and take care of them myself, 12just as a shepherd looks for lost sheep. My sheep have been lost since that dark and miserable day when they were scattered throughout the nations. But I will rescue them 13and bring them back from the foreign nations where they now live. I will be their shepherd and will let them graze on Israel’s mountains and in the valleys and fertile fields. 14They will be safe as they feed on grassy meadows and green hills. 15I promise to take care of them and keep them safe, 16to look for those that are lost and bring back the ones that wander off, to bandage those that are hurt and protect the ones that are weak. I will also slaughter those that are fat and strong, because I always do right.
20So I, the LORD God, will separate you strong sheep from the weak. 21You strong ones have used your powerful horns to chase off those that are weak, 22but I will rescue them and no longer let them be mistreated. I will separate the good from the bad.
23After that, I will give you a shepherd from the family of my servant King David. All of you, both strong and weak, will have the same shepherd, and he will take good care of you. 24He will be your leader, and I will be your God. I, the LORD, have spoken.
PSALMODY: Psalm 95:1-7a
1Sing joyful songs to the LORD!
Praise the mighty rock where we are safe.
2Come to worship him with thankful hearts
and songs of praise.
3The LORD is the greatest God, king over all other gods.
4He holds the deepest part of the earth in his hands,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5The ocean is the LORD because he made it,
and with his own hands he formed the dry land.
6Bow down and worship the LORD our Creator!
7The LORD is our God, and we are his people,
the sheep he takes care of in his own pasture.
SECOND READING: Ephesians 1:15-23
5I have heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people. 16So I never stop being grateful for you, as I mention you in my prayers. 17I ask the glorious Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will make you wise and let you understand what it means to know God. 18My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God’s people.
19I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used 20when he raised Christ from death and let him sit at his right side in heaven. 21There Christ rules over all forces, authorities, powers, and rulers. He rules over all beings in this world and will rule in the future world as well. 22God has put all things under the power of Christ, and for the good of the church he has made him the head of everything. 23The church is Christ’s body and is filled with Christ who completely fills everything.
GOSPEL: Matthew 25:31-46
31When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all of his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. 32The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats.
33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, “My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created. 35When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, 36and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me.”
37Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, “When did we give you something to eat or drink? 38When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear 39or visit you while you were sick or in jail?”
40The king will answer, “Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.”
41Then the king will say to those on his left, “Get away from me! You are under God’s curse. Go into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42I was hungry, but you did not give me anything to eat, and I was thirsty, but you did not give me anything to drink. 43I was a stranger, but you did not welcome me, and I was naked, but you did not give me any clothes to wear. I was sick and in jail, but you did not take care of me.”
44Then the people will ask, “Lord, when did we fail to help you when you were hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in jail?”
45The king will say to them, “Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me.”
46Then Jesus said, “Those people will be punished forever. But the ones who pleased God will have eternal life.”