One of the most poisonous of all Satan’s whispers is simply, “Things will never change.” That lie kills expectation, trapping our heart forever in the present. To keep desire alive and flourishing, we must renew our vision for what lies ahead. Things will not always be like this. Jesus has promised to “make all things new.” Eye has not seen, ear has not heard all that God has in store…you cannot outdream God.
John Eldredge, The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Holy Source of light and life and love,
we gather here to be reminded
that we are parts of your living, changing body.
Voice 1: We come because you call us into new life.
Voice 2: We come because we want to be together as we grow.
Leader: We come because we’ve found
that when we are together in community
we know your presence in new and different ways.
All: God of dreams and visions,
open us to the good news
that you are making all things new,
around us and among us and within us.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Holy One, sometimes we want to believe
that things will always be like this.
People: We can be so comfortable with things as they are
that change feels threatening and harsh.
Leader: Sometimes we want to believe
that things cannot change.
People: We feel caught in the circumstances of our lives,
bound up in our external world
or chained by forces within.
Leader: Our hearts are trapped forever in the present
denying the past as well as the future.
All: Holy One, forgive us and free us from these chains.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: Jesus has promised to make all things new.
Eyes have not seen nor ears heard
the wondrous possibilities that are ours.
We are forgiven and freed
to be people of expectation and hope.
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: God of dreams and visions,
we give you thanks for all that you have made,
and all that is beyond our knowing.
People: We give you thanks for Jesus,
through whose life, death, and resurrection
all things are made new.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
whose ever-changing movement brings new life
even when hope seems lost.
All: We give you thanks for your holy body, the Church,
in which we find new vision for the days ahead.
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 of his arrest, 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.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All: God of abundance and mercy,
we give joyful thanks
for your eternal love and healing presence
i n 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.
Leader: With our vision renewed,
let us go forth with open hearts and open minds,
trusting that the Holy One
really will make all things new.
In the name of God the Dreamer, Jesus the Teacher,
and the Holy Spirit our Guide,
let us greet one another with signs of peace.