Welcome to Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church
Where the love of Christ builds a harbor of acceptance, inspiration,
Fellowship, service and joy.
You enrich our worship with your presence.
"When we say welcome we mean it!"
It is not possible to pass the collection plate at our live home church.
Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church
c/o Monty Rice
1298 Warren Rd.
Cambria, CA 93428
If this is your first time here, WELCOME.
Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church-PCUSA
2700 Eton Rd. • Cambria, CA 93428
Call or text 805.395.1521
Prelude Deborah Farrand
At the tolling of the bell, please quietly prepare your heart for worship.
Meditation Music Deborah Farrand
Welcome and Announcements
† Call to Worship
Leader: God the Almighty: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is our Sovereign Lord.
People: He is King of all creation. Glory surrounds him.
Leader: Our King is a shepherd.
People: He looks after us. He rescues us from darkness.
Leader: He will gather his flock from afar.
People: He will tend us in good pastures.
Leader: The Lord himself will care for us.
People: He will search when we are lost, bind up our injuries and strengthen the weak.
Leader: He will judge.
People: He will shepherd with justice.
Unison: We come to worship our King.
† Psalm Prayer (In unison; Psalm 100)
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. Amen.
†Hymn of Adoration # 363 Rejoice, the Lord is King
Prayer of Confession (In unison; Inspired by Ephesians 1: 15-23 )
Almighty God, who stands at the beginning and end of time, you have entrusted us with so much. You give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Do we respond by better knowing Christ the King? Are the eyes of our heart enlightened so we may know the hope to which you call us? Do we live worthy of the incomparably great power and glorious inheritance you give? Do we believe deeply enough? Lord, we bring our private concerns to you now in our silent prayers… (In unison) Lord, with your power that is above all rule and authority, power and dominion, in this age and the one to come, help us to live so as to strengthen the body of Christ, the King. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon New Creations in Christ
†The Sharing of the Peace
Hymn of Preparation #452 Open the Eyes of My Heart
Leader: Listen for the Word of God.
People: Our ears are open and our hearts are ready to receive.
Scripture: Matthew 25: 31-46
Leader: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
Sermon: Kings in Cages Rev. Eugenia Gamble
Hymn of Response #354 Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
Call to Prayer: Hymn #466 Come and Fill Our Hearts with Your Peace
Prayers of the People
The Lord’s Prayer
Response to Prayer Hymn # 710 We are an Offering
Prayer of Dedication
† Hymn of Parting #766 The Church of Christ Cannot Be Bound
† Charge and Benediction
After the service, we hope you will join us for Virtual Fellowship Time.
CURRENT PRAYER LIST
Members of our community that are lonely, hungry and sick.
If you would like to support the work of Safe Harbor Church financially:
Tax deductible checks may be made to Safe Harbor Presbyterian Church.
During our period of isolation, please mail checks to:
Monty Rice 1298 Warren Road Cambria CA 93428
WHEN WE SAY “ WELCOME! ”, WE MEAN IT!
The Rev. Eugenia A. Gamble
Tom and Lana Cochrun
Monty and Julia Rice
The Judgment of the Nations….Matthew 25:31-46….Christ the King Sunday 2020
Matthew 25:31) 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. 32) 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. 33) and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34) 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; 35) for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37) 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? 38) And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39) And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you? 40) 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.’ 41) 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; 42) for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43) 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.’ 44) 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?’ 45) 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.’ 46) And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Background to the Passage: Today’s text is the culmination and summary of Jesus’ message in Matthew’s Gospel. Throughout, Matthew portrays Jesus as the ultimate teacher. Jesus teaches both a harsh and a liberating truth. He is also the rejected teacher, the one who has been plotted against, discredited and shunned by the power elite. In today’s text all of that is turned on its head. Jesus, the despised and rejected is, in fact, the glorious king who will rule at the final judgment of all the nations. The story is apocalyptic, that is, it is a picture of the events that will transpire at the end of the age. It is also Christological, that is, it reveals to us the true identity and nature of Jesus Christ. As you read and study this text, it might be helpful to make a list of the characteristics of Christ that you find here and meditate upon them.
A Word about Judgment: Judgment is one of the most frightening and confusing aspects of our faith. None of us wants to face it. We think that it can only be bad news. We want desperately to avoid it at all costs. In this text we see clearly that all will face judgment. For some it will be bad news and for others it will be good news. Judgment is not God’s punishment. Nor are stories of judgment intended to frighten. They are primarily pastoral in nature and intended to provide encouragement for those who are attempting to live out the faith. The point is not to see ourselves in the fate of the unrighteous, but to see how we are to live as God’s righteous. Judgment is simply the pronouncing by God of the reality that we have chosen by our behavior.
Vs. 31 – Son of Man – this phrase refers to the final victorious Messiah who will rule at the end of the age.
Glory – implies power, majesty and holiness
Angels – this word could also be translated as saints.
Throne of his glory – a symbol for the throne of David
Vs. 32 – all the nations – much scholarly controversy has swirled around this phrase. Does it refer to the gentiles only? Does it refer to nations as a whole, their governments? Does it refer to all of the people of earth? It could be read in all of those ways. I am persuaded by the argument that the change from the neuter word nations to the gendered word people indicates that Jesus is primarily thinking of all of the people groups of earth.
Separate the sheep from the goats – in the ancient Near East shepherds routinely separated their flocks in order to tend to them more effectively. Sometimes they separated the more valuable sheep from the less valuable goats. This is not to indicate that the goats were not highly prized as well. They were. Visually the sheep and goats we easy to spot because they were different sizes and colors. That is the point. The shepherd can easily tell the difference between the two.
Vs. 33 – right hand – the place of honor
Left hand – a secondary place of honor
Vs. 35-36 – these verses describe the situation of many early Christians under the persecution of the Roman state. When they were imprisoned for faith it was up to other Christians to provide them with food, water, clothing and human contact. Otherwise they would simply be allowed to die. While Jesus was speaking in a broader sense in this lesson, by the time Matthew wrote his Gospel, he and his community could not fail to see in Jesus’ words a reflection of their own situation.
Vs. 37 – when did we see you – the righteous did not recognize the service they had rendered. They were not serving for gain or recognition. They served because God had changed them. Service was simply who they were.
Vs. 40 – least of these who are members of my family – Was Jesus referring to Christians, or particularly to Christian missionaries? Was he referring to his Jewish family? Was he referring to the family of humankind in need? However broadly you want to interpret the phrase, it is vital to realize that Jesus’ family is depicted as the weak, the suffering, the poor and helpless. Self-giving care of others is the heart of God’s will.
Vs. 41 – depart from me – Jesus does not cast them out. He simply tells them to go their way, the way they have already chosen to go.
Devil and his angels – the parable assumes that there are powers at work that defy the kingdom and destroy human beings. The parable is careful not to talk about the devil’s realm as a kingdom, although that kind of language is used elsewhere. Here at the final triumph we see that there is no kingdom but God’s. There is no final ruler but God.
Vs. 45 – you did it to me – this phrase separates this parable from the many similar morality tales in other religions. It is utterly startling! Jesus completely identifies with the suffering. Where pain is, Jesus is actually present. To minister to the hurting is to tend to Jesus himself.
Vs. 46 – these will go away – again Jesus does not send them away. The unrighteous choose their fate because the cost of compassion seems too great.
Questions for Personal Reflection
1. This passage indicates that Jesus makes assessments about groups and nations based on dominant characteristics. What do you see as the dominant characteristics that Jesus might see in our nation today? Where do you see lack of compassion? Where do you see selfless compassion? What do we need to do to tip the balance toward compassion?
2. We can also use this text as a kind of check-up list to help us see how we are progressing in the things of Christ. When you apply the standards of compassion, courage and incarnation to your life, where are you strongest? How might you build on that strength? If you have weaknesses, think about why that might be so. How might you address the underlying causes? Ask Jesus to help you see and help you grow.
3. The passage makes clear that Jesus will allow nations and people’s to live with the consequences of their choices, both those that are faithful and those that are not. What kinds of consequences do you see in our nation, community and personal life from the choices to give or withhold compassion?
4. What do you think are some of the reasons people are groups lack compassion? What will it take for people to see Christ everywhere?