Prayer for Liverpool
Today is the last Sunday of the Church’s year, a Sunday on which our lectionary celebrates the Feast of Christ the King. The Gospel reading appointed for the Feast of Christ the King in the year when the readings come from Matthew’s Gospel is the closing section of Matthew 25. Matthew is the Gospel that presents Jesus’ teaching in five blocks. The first block (chapters 5, 6 and 7), the Sermon on the Mount, announces in the beatitudes the qualities of life that will reflect the Reign of Christ (for example, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy’). Now the closing piece of teaching illustrates the actions that affirm the Reign of Christ. Christ’s disciples (you and I) are recognised for feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and visiting the prisoners. The Reign of Christ is about social justice and about having an impact on the world in ways that really matter. The Reign of Christ is about transforming human lives. Today’s Gospel reading sums all that up perfectly. The teaching that Jesus started in the Sermon on the Mount and illustrated as he broke the five loaves among the five thousand and the seven loaves among the four thousand, he now sees carried out by the hands of those influenced by his teaching. To take to heart the Feast of Christ the King is to take to heart his teaching.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited you to focus on the image of food banks and on the wider theme of social justice. At Liverpool Cathedral, we support ‘Micah Liverpool’, a local charity that runs foodbanks, community markets and volunteer schemes: https://micahliverpool.com/. Today’s picture is taken from Aled and Siân’s book The Big Chapel. They find that the Big Chapel in the town centre is now used by the different denominations in the town to serve the needs of the local community. In the picture Aled and Siân are helping Captain Elfed Williams from the Salvation Army who is running the night shelter for the homeless.
Next week is Advent Sunday. The image to help us prepare for participation in the Advent Sunday service, online at home, is Advent wreaths. You can find out more about that theme here https://www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html. We would really appreciate you letting us know how you are using these materials. Please send us your ideas and photos of the things you may create; email them to Nelson.Pike@liverpoolcathedral.org.uk.
You can learn more about Aled and Siân’s book The Big Chapel and their many other adventures by following this link to the St. Mary’s Centre website: http://www.st-marys-centre.org.uk/resources/christianspecialplaces.html.
We warmly invite you to join us in worship online here:
You can find the Order of Service on the Resources page of our prayer blog, Prayer for Liverpool: www.prayerforliverpool.org/prayer-resources.html.
Aled and Siân send their Sunday greetings to all.
Prayer for Liverpool
brought to you from Liverpool Cathedral
St James Mount
Liverpool Cathedral is a place of encounter.
Built by the people, for the people, to the Glory of God