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Bible Study Guide for Sunday Nov 22, 2020

November 16, 2020
  • Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
  • Psalm 100
  • Ephesians 1:15-23
  • Matthew 25:31-46

 This Sunday will mark the Feast of Christ the King and the end of the liturgical year. What a strange liturgical year it has been! Even though we have not been able to worship together inside Trinity since March, I take comfort reflecting on how our worship rhythm has continued unabated regardless of pandemics, elections, and news events.

It is not only our worship rhythm that stands above the events of the world.  Our readings call us to a loyalty to Christ that stands beyond our political associations and loyalties. I am a political hobbyist and someone whose faith informs their politics, and I can often use this reminder. Christ’s words here in Matthew call me back to what I’m supposed to be doing as one of his partisans. Voting for Christ is not filling in a bubble on a piece of paper. It is being in relationship with and caring for the marginalized directly.

We may feel challenged by this calling. Paul reminds us in Ephesians that our relationship with Christ is not just one on one, however. Christ is the head of the Church. Through the Church, we have others who follow Christ the King alongside us. We can upbuild and support one another as we feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, and visit the prisoner. We do not serve Christ in isolation. We serve Christ in community.

We also must remember that Christ is beside us and in front of us. Christ is beside us, seeking out the lost sheep with us. As he tells us in Matthew, he is in front of us in the person we serve. However, contrary to what we might hope, those we serve can be frustrating whether they are a co-worker, an unhoused person, or a friend from church. One thing we can recall is Christ’s words that he is present in the people we serve. I sometimes find that if I reframe a person challenging me as a child of God in whom Christ is present, I can find some small measure of patience to carry me through as I try to serve them.

It is also worth remembering that even as we aid Christ in seeking out the lost sheep, we are all lost sheep ourselves. We all feel lonely, afraid, sad, and scared throughout our lives. Christ is there reaching out to us through his words, through his community, and through those around us in our lives. The King we follow is one with boundless compassion who serves us and seeks us out even as he leads us.

  • Are there any practices you use to see where Christ seeks you out or is present in your life?
  • Is the image of Christ as a king (or leader) exciting to you or off-putting? Why?
  • Is there a particular time in your life when you saw Christ in the person in front of you?

Author: Ryan Newberry


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