Greetings Lebanon and friends,
it’s going to get busy quickly! But let’s pray that our busy-ness never overshadows service to Christ our Lord.
For the remainder of the week and on into the new Church Year…
Tonight: Vespers @ 5:30 pm, followed by a Worship and Music Meeting @ 6:30pm.
Thursday: CREDO @ 7pm.
Christ the King Sunday and Congregational Meeting: During the Service, we will proclaim the reign of Christ our Lord and recognize the various servants and ministries of the congregation. Following worship, we will have our Congregational Meeting to approve a budget and elect members to Council.
Looking Ahead: Monday, 11/21 @ 6pm we will gather at the church for the hanging of the greens. Pizza will be provided. On 11/27 Carolyn Frye will assist the congregation in making Advent Wreaths for home devotions during the Sunday School hour. Please bring greens to share along with clippers. Candles, bases, and wet foam will be provided.Also on 11/27, Jeff Hamman has invited parade participants to his house at 2:30pm to set up the float decorations, look over costumes, rehearse. Pizza and drinks will be provided.
Christmas Parade! 12/2, Woodstock Christmas parade. 12/3, Strasburg Christmas Parade. Woodstock Parade begins at 5:30pm, Strasburg at 4:30pm.
Annual Women’s Brunch: It’s that time of year again! The women of the congregation are invited to gather on December 10 at 10am to support Shenandoah Pregnancy Center and enjoy a fun time of fellowship. Please bring a breakfast dish to share, and one of the items on the wish list for Shenandoah Pregnancy Center. If you would like to participate in a cookie exchange, bring a plate of cookies to share. Please RSVP in person or via email to Carolyn Frye to confirm that you are able to attend.
Thrivent Financial Action Teams provided a grant to purchase diaper bags to be filled at the brunch.
Christ the King Sunday, officially called ‘the Feast of Christ the King’ and also referred to as ‘the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe’ is a feast day that celebrates the full authority of Christ as King and Lord of the universe.
The feast was originally celebrated on the final day of October, the day before All Saints’ Day. Pope Paul VI moved the feast to the last Sunday before Advent in 1969 to highlight the day’s importance. This would fall in November. Churches that use the Revised Common Lectionary honor ‘Christ the King Sunday’ as the final Sunday of the liturgical year. This includes most major mainline Protestant communions.
One of the reasons this date is so fitting is because the liturgical year begins with Advent, which is the season of awaiting the coming of Christ. Observing Christ the King Sunday at the end of the liturgical year celebrates and emphasizes the Kingship of Christ.
Many Christians don’t know the history of the title “Christ the King.” The feast is actually a relatively new addition to the liturgical calendar. However, referring to Christ as “King” is not new.
There are many passages throughout the New Testament where Jesus is referred to as “King.” Some of these include Matthew 27:11 which says, “Now Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, ‘You have said so.’” Another passage is First Timothy 1:17 which says, “To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 19:6 also says, “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed King of kings and Lord of lords.” From these passages, we see that “King” was one of the earliest titles given to Jesus Christ.
Of course, Jesus’ majesty and rule are not entirely compatible with the world’s understanding. Some Jews were expecting someone to overthrow Roman rule and be the perpetually righteous earthly king of Israel. Christ’s Kingdom is first and foremost a spiritual or heavenly reality. His rule begins now in His Church, where He rules by the Word of God and the forgiveness of sins. It will be fulfilled and perfected when He returns in glory, and so the Church prays, “Thy kingdom come”. On this day, we end the year with a recognition and proclamation of the supreme authority of Christ.
The first Feast of Christ the King was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and was to be celebrated throughout the universal church. This feast day was in response to the increasing denial of Christ as king and the rise of secularism throughout Europe. This was also a time when dangerous dictatorships were emerging in Europe and beyond. As Pope Pius and other faithful Christians began to see the respect and reverence for Christ’s authority diminishing, this feast was put in place to reaffirm and refocus faith and respect for the ultimate sovereignty of the Lord Jesus.
Some of the major roles of a king are to protect the poor and protect the kingdom. Christ did this and more. Jesus focused on the poor and marginalized during His earthly ministry. While He was a king, he embraced the lowly and called the disciples to do the same. There are countless examples in the Bible of His commitment to helping those in need, and His desire for us to model the same love in our lives.
Adapted from an article Leslie White at Beliefnet.com