The Creator God has spread out for our delight a banquet that was twenty billion years in the making. A banquet of rivers and lakes, of rain and sunshine, of rich earth and of amazing flowers, of handsome trees and of dancing fishes, of contemplative animals and whistling winds, of dry and wet seasons, of cold and hot climates … and so are we, blessings ourselves, invited to the banquet.
Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pp.112-113
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: God invites everyone to a banquet of rivers and lakes,
of rain and sunshine,
of rich earth and amazing flowers.
People: We are hungry for the beauty of God’s creation.
Leader: God invites the fish to leap and dance,
the birds to soar,
the trees to sway to the whistling of the wind.
People: We yearn for the wholeness of what God has made.
Leader: God invites us to be blessings,
to delight in the world that is filled with good things.
All: We come – running, dancing, limping, crawling,
ready to join the company at God’s table of love,
a feast of blessing for all of creation.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
SONG AS THE CHILDREN LEAVE FOR CLASS
Jesus loves us as we grow,
meets us on the paths we go,
keeps us safe and keeps us free,
helps us learn who we should be.
Yes Jesus loves us,
Yes Jesus helps us,
Yes Jesus shows us,
the best way we can go.
Leader: Creator God,
you have given us a glorious banquet to enjoy.
People: We confess that in our greed
we exploit your creation for selfish gain.
Leader: Your blessings are without end.
People: Forgive us our self-centeredness,
our fear that there may not be enough.
Leader: Your table of love is everywhere present.
All: We get caught up in our brokenness,
and forget that every one of us is beloved.
Help us to live fully and joyously with our inheritance.
Leader: The Holy One knows, forgives and transforms us,
so that we may be blessings to others.
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
INTERCESSION AND PETITION
All: O Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.
We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.
Forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted,
and help us forgive those who have hurt us.
Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with you;
to care for every part of your creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.
We open our hearts to you and your creation
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ. Amen.
Leader 1: This is the table of the Heavenly Feast,
the joyful celebration of the people of God.
Leader 2: We gather now as one body, joined around the table.
Here we celebrate God’s presence among us
united in Christ’s spirit, broken and whole all at once;
All: Nourished and hungry, loved and loving,
sinner and forgiven; we make one circle of knowing,
believing, rejoicing, being,
as God lights and rests among us.
Leader 1: Holy Source of banquets and galaxies,
we give you thanks for all that you have made
and for our own lives, for we, too, are your creations.
People: We give you thanks for Jesus, the Christ,
who came to offer us
a way of healing all that is broken
in the world and in ourselves.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit,
a constant reminder of your presence
within and around us.
All: We give you thanks for your Church,
struggling to be faithful as Christ’s body in the world.
BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Leader 1: Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Leader 2: Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
Leader 1: On the night he gave himself up, Jesus took bread,
and after giving thanks to God, broke it and said,
This is my body,
broken for the healing of the world.
Whenever you eat it, do so remembering me.
Leader 2: After supper, Jesus took the cup and said,
This is the cup of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for all.
Whenever you drink it, do so remembering me.
All: O Holy One, send down your Spirit
that these gifts of bread and cup
may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Unite us with Christ forever
and bring us with the whole creation
to your eternal realm.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
If you do not wish to receive the elements today you are welcome to join the circle and allow them to pass, or remain in your seat. We serve grape juice in our cups. The crackers are gluten-free.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All: God of abundance and mercy,
we give joyful thanks
for your eternal love and healing presence
in our celebration of bread and cup.
Bless this body of Christ
that we may attend faithfully
to our call to be your servants,
with each other and throughout the world. Amen.
Leader: Blessed by our inheritance
in creation, in word, and in community,
we go out now to be blessings for the world.
In the name of the One God—
Creator of all, Friend-with-us, and guiding Spirit,
let us go in peace and joy,
learning to live with our inheritance.