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  • Lectionary resources Christ the King Year C
    Resources Index Sermon summary Click here for complete sermon Jesus remember me A criminal crucified with Jesus said to him Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom Luke 23 42 The leaders of the people the soldiers and the other criminal had been taunting him about being a king Luke 23 35 39 The idea of Jesus being a king amused the soldiers who made fun of him with a purple robe and a crown made of thorns Luke 23 11 Mark 15 16 19 Yet was there still a serious thought that he might have been a king with a kingdom those who were with him might enter But what kind of king Was he really a king During the trial it was a real question Pilate asked him directly Are you the King of the Jews Mark 15 2 5 King was Pilate s word it was hard for him to understand a king whose kingdom was not of this world John 18 33 38 The Jewish authorities knew a little about a special kind of king to they expected to come one anointed marked out as the holy one of God called the Messiah the Christ See Colossians 1 15 17 for Paul s more advanced understanding The idea that the Creator of the universe would reach out to his human creatures in human form was a much bigger idea of the Messiah than the Jewish rulers had Suffering Servant and Son of Man Jesus was a humble man but he spoke with authority Looking back at what they remembered of him after they saw how he died the disciples were able to see the figure of the suffering servant of Isaiah chapter 53 in the way that Jesus was humiliated through mockery and flogging and in way he accepted his suffering Acts 8 26 38 Jesus called himself the Son of Man a title meaning a human being as in the prophecy in the book of Daniel 7 13 14 which links that very ordinary human character with a figure of great power Matthew s understanding of it is seen his account of Jesus answering in those terms of coming with power when the Jewish leaders asked him if he was the Messiah Matthew 26 63 64 Luke 22 67 70 The call for a personal response If Jesus is the Messiah the Son of God the Word made flesh then what God has to say to the world invites a personal response The one dying with him knew that much that it was a personal matter for him to be related to this king and his kingdom Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom RCL Resources Index Order of Service Christ the King Year C The Gathering of the People of God CALL TO WORSHIP Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ Romans 1 7 In the name of Christ Amen HYMN O worship

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  • Christ the King - Jesus, remember me
    more than had yet been revealed to them As in the epistle for today He is the image of the invisible God the firstborn of all creation 16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created things visible and invisible whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers all things have been created through him and for him 17 He himself is before all things and in him all things hold together Colossians 1 15 17 The idea that the Creator of the universe would reach out to his human creatures in human form was a much bigger idea of the Messiah than the Jewish rulers could be expected to have But they would still have known of prophecies that gave strong and dramatic images The Messiah as suffering servant To understand how confusing it must have been we need to see in the terms of their limited understanding that Jesus appeared to be giving mixed messages He was a humble man but he spoke with authority He gave commands and even the evil spirits obeyed him yet looking back after they saw how he died the disciples were able to see in him the figure of the suffering servant of Isaiah chapter 53 3 we despised and rejected him 7 Like a lamb about to be slaughtered he never said a word he was dumb 10 the Lord said it was my will that he should suffer 12 And so I will give him a place of honour a place among the great and powerful men He willingly gave his life and shared the fate of wrong doers He took the place of many sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven That suffering servant image of Christ was the basis of the teaching about who Jesus was that we find in one of the earliest examples of conversion and baptism Philip and the Ethiopian Acts 8 26 38 The humiliation of the suffering servant described in Isaiah some hundreds of years before Jesus was born was clearly seen by the faithful in the way that Jesus was humiliated through flogging and mockery before and during his crucifixion while ignorant men jeered at him for his kingship The Messiah as Son of Man Jesus called himself the Son of Man and we easily relate this to his humility and to the way he identified himself with the common people Indeed one way of translating this title son of man is to say that he simply called himself a human being and that is the term used in a recent translation of the prophecy in the book of Daniel which links that very ordinary human character with a figure of great power I gazed into the vision of the night And I saw coming on the clouds of heaven One like a son of man He came to the one of great age or the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence On him

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  • he march in triumph as a conquering hero or go humbly to a criminal s death Would his powers be used to build himself up or to heal the sick and raise the dead 3 The devil said to him If you are the Son of God command this stone to become a loaf of bread Luke 4 3 That is an ordinary human desire for a hungry man but you can also see more to it It is the Son of God who give us the bread of life John 6 recalling the gift of manna in the wilderness Stones and bread were compared another time in the gospels 9 Is there anyone among you who if your child asks for bread will give a stone Matthew 7 9 The gift of bread is the gift of the gospel and it is the act of the caring father If the raven fed Elijah in the wilderness it might not have been out of character for God to feed his Son in same situation So it was not eating bread that was the question it was If you are the Son of God so the devil then tackles this more directly here in Luke in the third temptation in Matthew s account in the second 9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple saying to him If you are the Son of God throw yourself down from here 10 for it is written He will command his angels concerning you to protect you 11 and On their hands they will bear you up so that you will not dash your foot against a stone Luke 4 9 11 This mental experiment done in the imagination tested Jesus to make a direct demonstration of his sonship See how subtle the devil is Jesus had quoted scripture in reply to the first temptation 4 Jesus answered him It is written One does not live by bread alone Luke 4 4 The quote is from Deuteronomy 8 He humbled you by letting you hunger then by feeding you with manna with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD Deuteronomy 8 3 Now the devil shows that he can quote scripture too you might to remember that sometime it is written he says and quotes from the psalm read today For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways 12 On their hands they will bear you up so that you will not dash your foot against a stone Psalms 91 11 12 Jesus replies from the old law Do not put the LORD your God to the test as you tested him at Messiah Deuteronomy 6 16 though he could also have quoted the psalms 8 Do not harden your hearts

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  • carols and anthems for the congregation Practice Thursdays 8 00 pm 9 30 pm Orchestra Sharon Hyne 9846 3248 An all age all skill level group which provides enjoyment on special occasions of worship Drama Gloria Main Jenkins 9846 1791 On special occasions including Christmas members of the congregation present plays as part of our worship services Return to Templestowe Uniting Church Page Prayer and Bible Study Bible Study Andrew Campbell 9850 2702 Opportunity to explore and discuss how biblical understanding is evolving from scholarly research Often held in a home with an experienced leader Study series of several weekly meetings are arranged from time to time Prayer Group Rosemary Beavis 9846 2213 A small group meets to consider personal and world wide issues in prayer meditation Requests for prayer may be directed by telephone or through the minister Thursdays 7 15 pm 8 00 pm Return to Templestowe Uniting Church Page Fellowship Groups Waripana Thelma Hitchcock 9850 4502 A women s fellowship group with a variety of activities including speakers and outings Second Wednesday of the month 8 00 pm 10 00 pm Friendship Circle Ian Port 9850 3145 Provides a wide range of social activities for men and

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  • pastoral visiting practical support for members in special need members to offer diverse gifts and creative talents participation in the life of the wider church ecumenical activities Learn the way of Christ growing in understanding and commitment to the Christian faith by establishing a strategy which emphasises continuing growth and renewal in which we support the redevelopment of Sunday School including recruitment of more teachers and occasional helpers personal encouragement of children and parents follow up of baptised children encouraging children s participation in worship new initiatives in youth and children work through employment of a youth or family worker part time or in co operation with neighbouring parishes encouragement and assistance to a local youth leadership task group new opportunities for adults to learn such as the small group activities mentioned above classes in Old and New Testament studies occasional discussion of themes in groups after the morning service Serve Christ and make him known in the community through service and evangelism by taking aspects of church life to the Templestowe community by encouraging such activities as open groups like KUCA and junior youth group fellowship groups worship in local community settings including outdoor services appropriate use of local media and promotional literature involvement in community activities like drama senior citizens and the Templestowe Festival offering educational programs and activity groups of interest to the local community by participating in Christian religious education in schools co operating with the play group on topics such as parenting setting up or encouraging interest groups in arts and crafts offering adult education classes in topics of common interest calling public meetings with interesting speakers on current issues offering worship and pastoral care in nursing homes etc helping people to witness in their work establishing a social action group to co ordinate study and active witness through local small groups with specific projects maintaining liaison with the Synod Commission for mission finding ways to tackle local needs like youth homelessness developing new and more effective means of communication such as use of the local press liaison with local government and community organisations an Internet home page Return to Templestowe Uniting Church Page Templestowe Uniting Church Action Plan for 1996 97 Priorities are to be decided by the Congregation and revised each six to twelve months Members of the congregation are invited to chose one of these points of action and join a group to review that part of the action plan and begin action in the light of the Mission Statement 1 Social Action Group Establish a group to investigate social needs and begin action on one or two selected projects asking members of the Congregation to share their knowledge of particular needs consulting UCA agencies in the region special ministries in the Presbytery and local community welfare agencies learning more about the local community before choosing a project 2 Youth and Children s Work Review and develop recent initiatives for Christian education and outreach especially the effort made to restart the Sunday

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  • were followed by his high priestly prayer John 17 for them and those who would believe in him through their words He is describing the continuing relationship that believers will have with their Lord He can be both their Lord or shepherd and their friend because he cares for them and allows them freedom in their relationship The great extent of his caring is shown in his willingness to lay down his life for his friends No one has greater love than this to lay down one s life for one s friends Yet his willingness to serve them did not contradict his leadership as he demonstrated when he took the part of a slave and washed their feet when they gathered for the Last Supper His words on that occasion are interesting in that he re affirmed his leadership even as he gave them the example of being servants of one another John 13 12 14 After he had washed their feet had put on his robe and had returned to the table he said to them Do you know what I have done to you 13 You call me Teacher and Lord and you are right for that is what I am 14 So if I your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet you also ought to wash one another s feet So he could retain his authority as a servant leader Their friendship then was a relationship of mutual regard for and service of one another rather than a relationship between equality Indeed concern with equality would disrupt such a relationship because it would bring in questions of status which Jesus most strongly discouraged amongst them That the status question can be set aside is perhaps most clearly illustrated in the way that the ancient leaders of the nation of Israel were called friends of God Moses the law giver and disciplined leader an unruly mob of former slavers during the exodus would have been horrified at the blasphemy of assuming to be equal with God yet he was called a friend of God because he talked with God face to face Exodus 33 11 Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face as one speaks to a friend Then he would return to the camp Or take the example of Abraham the founding father whom the later chronicler and the prophet Isaiah recalled as a friend of God 2 Chronicles 20 7 Did you not O our God drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham Isaiah 41 8 But you Israel my servant Jacob whom I have chosen the offspring of Abraham my friend These ancient leaders Abraham and Moses were friends of God who were blessed in their relationship with him for the good of the whole people of God God was their friend because he chose to be a friend to them and they responded

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  • give evidence of great love amongst them For example in the very beginning at Pentecost Acts 2 44 47 All who believed were together and had all things in common 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all as any had need 46 Day by day as they spent much time together in the temple they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved How these Christians love one another was a saying amongst pagan observers of the early Christian communities It was even noted that the tender care they showed to the sick and dying amongst them whom they would lovingly hold in their arms was a danger to their own health Although there were tensions between peoples of different nations races and traditions when they joined together they could still celebrate their unity A unity which they attributed to Christ as we see in the letter to the Ephesians Ephesians 2 14 18 For he is our peace in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall that is the hostility between us 15 He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two thus making peace 16 and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross thus putting to death that hostility through it 17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near 18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father The oneness of the body of Christ as their fellowship was understood was a gift of God a result of their dwelling in God and God in them Ephesians 4 4 6 There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to the one hope of your calling 5 one Lord one faith one baptism 6 one God and Father of all who is above all and through all and in all There we see recognized a most important fact about the unity for which Christ prayed the strength of their bond with one another was not achieved by human effort or wisdom alone It is not something that comes from the way that the church is organised or the goodwill of the members in human terms to one another It comes from their relationship to God That is what Jesus prayed for John 17 11 And now I am no longer in the world but they are in the world and I am coming to you Holy Father protect them in your name that you have given me so that they be one as we are one The kind of unity

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  • as an endorsement of shallow and deceptive modern beliefs in progress At the same time that belief in a new creation is obviously not the simple opposite of progress You can hardly mount a defence of the status quo on this celebration of everything becoming new Tradition is important in Christian life and teaching but not so as prevent new developments and the tradition handed on to us includes this major emphasis on renewal In Christ there is a new creation Tradition in the church and scripture Next Sunday the twentieth anniversary of the formation of the Uniting Church I hope to recall with you some of the founding hopes and commitments with which the union was formed One part is particularly relevant to the question of whether we emphasise progress or tradition When first report on the negotiations for union was written in 1959 a strong commitment was made to recall people to the faith of the church which had been received from ancient times We wish to recall the members of our Churches to the great tradition in which they stand We are debtors not only to the writers of Holy Scripture but also to the Fathers of the Church who through creed confession commentary and hymn of praise have sought to keep men in a relationship of faith and trust of love and hope in the worship of God as He has made Himself made known to us in Jesus Christ our Lord We are grateful for these pledges of the work of the Holy Spirit dwelling in the Church In his power men have been enabled to confess and praise God the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord We in our day neglect at our peril these great words of believing men of other ages If we in Australia are to avoid an idiosyncratic faith we must give careful consideration to the Faith of the Church of the ages Tradition was to be important for us but it was tradition founded on scripture which saw a dynamic process of change in which old Jewish customs and human tradition were to pass away Tradition is regarded as both good and bad in the New Testament For example Colossians 2 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit according to human tradition according to the elemental spirits of the universe and not according to Christ And Acts 6 14 where the Jewish council was horrified at the implications of Stephen s preaching and they had false witnesses say For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us So some customs were expected to change but handing on of traditions was also of vital importance in the life of the Church Not least in relation to the central act of worship in the Eucharist 1 Corinthians 11 23 24 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you That the Lord Jesus on the night that he was betrayed took a loaf of bread and when he had given thanks he broke it and said This is my body which is for you do this in remembrance of me In terms of the central teaching the nature of the gospel we have the same conception of handing on a tradition For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures and that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures and that he appeared to Cephas then to the twelve 1 Corinthians 15 3 5 Paul refers to this tradition as being of first importance The faith of the Church is not simply what people happen to believe at a particular time The Basis of Union witnesses to this truth and points to scripture where the tradition of the apostles is authoritatively affirmed albeit within a context in which further development of our understanding is anticipated The Church cannot be cut off from its roots and still be the Church If then everything is being made new to be faithful new developments must be built upon the foundation of the tradition concerning Christ that we have received from the apostles When it said that everything old has passed away it was not Christian tradition tradition as such but the old ways of corruption which were passing away That becomes clear when we look that the scriptures concerning the new creation So what is this new creation There are other images of things being made new in the New Testament A few weeks ago we had the story of Jesus talking with Nicodemus about being born again or born from above as God acts in human life to make things new John sees such renewal as the purpose of the coming of Jesus as the Word of God made flesh John 1 12 14 But to all who received him who believed in his name he gave power to become children of God 13 who were born not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man but of God 14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us and we have seen his glory the glory as of a father s only son full of grace and truth As we have it in the first letter of Peter 1 Peter 1 23 You have been born anew not of perishable but of imperishable seed through the living and enduring word of God Paul put it clearly in Romans in a way that sets it off sharply in contrast to modern pressures to conform to what the world regards as progress Romans 12 2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your

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