There was only one guy in the whole Bible Jesus every personally promised a place with him in Paradise. Not Peter, not Paul, not any of those guys. He was a convicted their, being executed. So don’t knock guys on death row. Maybe they know something you don’t.
–Neil Gaiman, American Gods
CALL TO WORSHIP
In the beginning, God created all that is,
and said that it was very good,
We are called to remember
that the world God created is still good.
Jesus tells us that his yoke is easy,
and his burden light.
We are called to remember
that a life of justice and kindness is still good news.
The Spirit calls us to live in Paradise every day.
We are called to listen for the voice of God
in the stories and songs and silence
of those who know something that we don’t.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Holy One, sometimes life seems to be
not very good at all.
We get caught up in the doubt, deception, and deciet
that seem to be everywhere around us.
We cannot imagine that there may be wisdom
in the chaos and confusion.
Your yoke seems heavy and your burden, unbearable.
We are unsure and afraid.
we forget that your creation is still good.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
The Holy One knows our doubts,
our deceptions, and our fears,
and invites us into Paradise.
We are understood, forgiven, and loved.
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
INTERCESSION AND PETITION
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.
This is the table of the Heavenly Feast,
the joyful celebration of the people of God.
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;
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.
Holy God who created everything and called it good,
we give you thanks that you still call us
to affirm the goodness of this world
even when we struggle to find it
We give you thanks for Jesus,
who even while suffering
was able to hear the guy next to him on the cross
and invite him into Paradise.
We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
who opens our ears and hearts
so that we too can hear the remorse of the remorseless
and the regret of the unregretful.
We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
who shelters, nurtures, and nudges into flower
that abundant grace that you so freely bestow
in every moment.
BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
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.
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.
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 wafers are gluten-free.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
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.
As we greet one another with signs of peace,
may the abundant grace of Jesus,
God’s love that surpasses all understanding,
and the comfort of the Holy Spirit
go with us until we see each other again.