Welcome to our online worship for the last Sunday before Advent. It contains prayers, the readings for the day and some musical offerings. Our sermon today is given by The Revd Canon Richard Bartlett, Director of Mission Engagement, USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), one of St Nicolas Church’s chosen charities. Our worship today takes about 40 minutes.
The Prayer for Today: The Collect
Eternal Father, whose Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven that he might rule over all things as Lord and King: keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of peace, and bring the whole created order to worship at his feet; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Hymn: At the Name of Jesus
The First Reading: Ephesians 1:15-23. Paul’s Prayer
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Hymn: Christ Triumphant
The Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:31-46 The Judgment of the Nations
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Anthem: Let all the world in every corner sing
Today’s Reflection: The Revd Canon Richard Bartlett, USPG
Hymn: Jesus, Remember Me
Our Prayers for Today: Watch and listen or simply read the prayers below
Let us humble ourselves in the presence of God And pray to him for the Church and for the world
Loving God, in all our ministry as the Church, Both laity and clergy, On Sundays and on weekdays, May we give glory to you And further your kingdom. Direct us to those who are searching And give us the wisdom to know how best to draw them to your love. We are your people: The sheep of your pasture.
Loving God, may we actively seek to do good, To stand up against injustice and work for peace. Give us the courage to act as citizens of heaven. We are your people: The sheep of your pasture.
Loving God, may the way we manage our homes, Decisions, time and money be in keeping with our calling As inheritors of your kingdom. May your love undergird all our loving. We are your people The sheep of your pasture.
Loving God, search for the lost, Bring back those who have strayed, Bind up the injured, and strengthen the weak; Help us all to share in this work of loving care. We are your people The sheep of your pasture.
Loving God, welcome into your kingdom All whose lives show them to be your servants, Whether or not they have known you by name. We remember especially today William Boyes and Joy Graham. Prepare us all to meet you with the confidence Of sins confessed and forgiven. We are your people The sheep of your pasture.
Loving God, you have shown us such love and humility: We offer you our thanks and praise. Merciful Father, Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Hymn: The King of love my Shepherd is
Notices for the Week: Click the image below to see the notices
Final Hymn: Christ is our Cornerstone
The peace of the earth be with you, the peace of the heavens too; the peace of the rivers be with you, the peace of the oceans too. Deep peace falling over you. God's peace, God's peace growing in you. Amen.
Voluntary: Sheep may safely graze – J S Bach