Heart of love,
spirit of mystery,
we silently live into this season
of pregnant darkness.
In the stillness we listen to what it means
to be a waiting, Advent people.
Holy one, source of grace,
we offer our praise and rejoice
in your creation and its gifts.
affirming the paradoxes of life,
days of bright fullness and
of gray emptiness,
moments of knowing your love and
times of sensing ourselves
isolated and alone,
years of being Christian community to one another and
times of separation and broken relationship,
experiences of darkness and light
that call us back to seeking gospel truth.
As we thankfully gather at this banquet table,
may we experience that gospel power of love.
We long to touch and be touched
by these symbols of brokenness and healing,
death and life,
community and transcendence.
during this season of outward intensity and activity,
remind us of the need for inner quiet
that requires us to explore
the places of wilderness in our lives
and the life of our world.
Invite us to a deepening
of our prayers that call us into the heart of humanity.
Encourage us to offer gospel ways
of turning around,
of reconciliation and love.
Eternal, harmonizing source of hope,
like the Magi,
we come into your presence
celebrating the revelation of yourself
the Bethlehem babe,
the prophetic word.
We come with thankful hearts
for your incarnation
and for this time of gathering at table
to celebrate each dimension of our lives.
This great Thanksgiving
for life’s mix
of joy and pain,
for its voids
and its fruitfulness.
Thanksgiving for the physical symbols
of our union with
the past, present and future movement
of our faith.
Praise that we are invited
to carry that great good news
into all the world.
Communion – Union in Love
gathered at table,
we hunger for a renewed filling by you.
Though we often find ourselves uncertain
about what it requires of us
if we are to be prepared to receive you –
your very presence
into our physical bodies –
we do want to be open
to the grace that invites us
to do that.
We reflect on the powerful symbols of love
here on this table.
The symbols of today’s bread
and the future’s fruits
quicken our imaginations
so we may surround these elements with ever richer meanings
from our present life,
our past traditions and
from your vision of a
new heaven and a new earth.
we know Eucharist
to be a sign of union in love,
love that makes all things new.
We rejoice that these elements symbolize
the undoing of injustice in the world:
the inclusion of all people and creatures
in the embrace of your love.
We speak our prayers as
expressions of compassion and solidarity
with all creation.
Jesus, our brother,
we see our own lives mirrored
in the bread and the cup.
We seek, as you do,
to move ever deeper into
the depth of life,
of brokenness, of refreshment,
of forgiveness, of new relationship,
of new creation.
Offer us your food,
that we may know and value
the deep root of this celebration
that connects us with the church’s past,
which is also our past.
Help us experience the affirmation
that this ritual act
also goes deeply into our present life and work.
When we partake of these symbols
we are truly linking the past and the present
and expressing our faith in a completed future.
We are truly celebrating
the unity and wholeness of our calling
to fullness of relationship
with you and your world.
Spirit of Christ,
we thank you for all the ways you feed us
and seek to understand how we may feed others –
physically and spiritually.
You are the full expression
of liberation and compassion.
Awaken that same spirit within us.
We offer our prayers
as we bond ourselves with you
in loving your world,
in loving the universe.
spirit of prophetic wisdom,
your seed is planted in our soul.
Together we are creating and seeking
your vision for life.
Empower our awareness of you
that it may nurture and enable us
to offer who we are becoming.
May all the elements and creatures of the universe
be known as sacred and be honored as
your holy creation.