The Spirit is the animation that God breathed into humankind on creation day; the Spirit is the mystery of the resurrected Christ; and the Spirit is the future of God reshaping the community.
Gail Ramshaw, Under the Tree of Life, p 84
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: O Holy One, teach us
to have a new heart and a new spirit.
People: Give us a heart like the one you gave to Joseph
who forgave his brothers
when they came to Egypt.
Leader: Teach us, as you taught Jonah,
to have a merciful and compassionate spirit
towards those who seek to destroy us.
People: Help us to forgive seventy times seven,
even as we struggle to forgive seven times.
Leader: We want to learn to love as Jesus loved,
to love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves.
All: Create in us a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within us.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Holy One, we know that to fulfill your law
we must love our neighbors as ourselves.
People: We feel overwhelmed,
so we reject many of our neighbors.
Leader: To fulfill your law we must forgive the same wrong,
seventy times seven.
People: We struggle to fully forgive even once,
and forget that you are continually forgiving us.
Leader: By your law of love,
the last will be first and the first will be last.
All: Forgive us when we forget that we are one,
called and transformed by your love.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The Holy One forgives us, renews our spirit,
and gives us peace surpassing all understanding,
which guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
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.
Leader 1: Holy One, we are grateful for your animating breath
as it calls us into life.
People: We are grateful for your child, Jesus,
who offered himself in life and in death,
giving us a new heart and a new spirit.
Leader 2: We are grateful for your Holy Spirit,
continually renewing and refreshing us
in our weakness.
All: We give thanks for your Church,
a community of people who know your love
and offer it to a suffering world.
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.
Leader: Let us go forth. knowing that the Creator,
loving maker of every thought and thing,
is renewing our hearts and our spirits,
calling us to commit our lives to love and service,
as we walk into a future we do not know.
In the name of God who loves us,
Jesus who believes in us,
and the Spirit who fills our hearts with joy and commitment,
let us greet one another with signs of peace.