Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christ the King Sunday

Christ the King Sunday

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. – Revelation 1:8

• Today we remember the Christian calendar, the liturgical year, in scripture and song. Each season or holiday has a liturgical color (although many of the holidays are “white or gold”).

No sermon today, but a verse, reflection, and hymn representing each season of the Christian year.

Advent. Purple or blue. 
The Christian year begins with the anticipation of the arrival of God’s Messiah, the fulfillment of the promise. We often sing Christmas carols, although some say we should wait until Christmas to sing the Christmas carols, and sing songs of anticipation before Christmas. We light the Advent candles to mark our waiting. Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas (12/25). 
Today's Advent Scripture reading: Luke 1:26-33, the Annunciation  
Today's Advent hymn: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Christmas. White or gold. 
The birth of Jesus Christ. God’s promised light comes to earth. Christmas is a 12-day season, going from December 25th to January 6th.
Today's Christmas Scripture reading: Luke 2:1-7 the Birth of Jesus  
Today's Christmas hymn: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Epiphany. White or gold. 
Celebrated in the Eastern churches as Christ coming to the world. In the Western churches (that’s us) it’s when we ‘remember’ the “wise men” who traveled far to worship the King. God revealed His light to all nations. January 6th is the day of Epiphany, and the season of Epiphany lasts until Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Often about five weeks.
Today's Epiphany Scripture reading: Isaiah 60:1-6  
Today's Epiphany hymn: Once In Royal David's City

Lent. Purple. 
The 40-day (minus Sundays) season of preparation for Easter. Often marked by repentance, prayer, fasting or self-denial, Lent (which means “spring”) is also a time of Christian instruction. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (46 days before Easter) and goes through Holy Week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter.
Today's Lent Scripture reading: Mark 8:31-38 
Today's Lent hymn: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

We have an additional reading and hymn for Holy Week
Today's Holy Week Scripture reading: Mark 14:26-42
Today's Holy Week hymn: Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Easter. White or gold. 
The celebration of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, his victory over sin and death. Though the date of Easter changes, it is always the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurs after the vernal equinox (March 21). The season of Easter lasts fifty days, including Ascension Day (forty days after Easter) and ending at Pentecost (fifty days after Easter).
Today's Easter Scripture reading: Matthew 28:1-10  
Today's Easter hymn: Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Pentecost. Red (for the day) and green (for the season). 
Pentecost was a Jewish harvest festival (50 days after Passover), and is now celebrated by Christians as the birth of the Church, the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost marks the beginning of “ordinary time,” the season that spans from the end of the Easter season until Advent. In “ordinary time” (aka “Kingdomtide”) the actions of the early church are remembered.
Today's Pentecost Scripture reading: Acts 2:1-6
Today's Pentecost hymn: The Comforter Has Come

Christ the King. White or gold. 
The “New Year’s Eve” of the liturgical calendar, Christ the King Sunday celebrates, well, Jesus Christ the King of Kings. Thus the Christian year begins, revolves around, and ends in celebration of God’s gift to the world in Jesus Christ.
Today's Christ the King Scripture reading: Revelation 1:4-8 
Today's Christ the King hymn: Crown Him with Many Crowns

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