The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed…
The kingdom of heaven is like yeast…
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure…
The kingdom of heaven is like a pearl of great value…
The kingdom of heaven is like a net…
Adapted from Matthew 13:31-33 and 44-46
CALL TO WORSHIP
Come, all who are searching for heaven.
Expect the unexpected:
the realm of heaven is near.
We come, drawn by stories and parables
that open our hearts to new understanding.
The Holy One offers us seeds of hope,
signs that point the way to good news
in these troubled times.
We come to be welcomed
into our place in the Body of Christ.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Holy One, you tell us that heaven is like
yeast hidden in a mound of flour,
or treasure hidden in a field.
We spend our money on things that do not satisfy us,
and wonder why heaven seems so far away.
You tell us that heaven is like
a net thrown into the sea,
or seeds sown with reckless abundance.
We hang on tightly to our habits, opinions, and fears,
even when they keep us living in hell.
You tell us that heaven
is in us and around us and between us.
Forgive us when we turn away from heaven,
living like those who do not know your love.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Be assured that we are all forgiven.
Not even our sins or habits or fears
can separate us from the love of God.
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 the prophets heard in the silence,
we thank you for continuing to share with us
your message of comfort and hope.
We give thanks for Jesus
whose stories and parables open our hearts and eyes
to your healing vision of inclusion and abundance.
We give thanks for the Holy Spirit who bestows on us
gifts to be used in building up the body of Christ,
he rock which is your church.
We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
helping us hope for what is yet unseen,
as we work together to bring your realm into being.
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.
Go out from this place
to be seeds sown with reckless abundance,
water rushing in ever flowing streams,vessels of God’s grace
in a hurting and frightened world.
In the name of the Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit,
let us greet one another with signs of peace,