The mystics consistently use words like mercy, forgiveness, faithfulness, and healing to describe what they experience as God. These all imply a God who does not just impose rules, but in fact changes them for us! … And every time God forgives, God is saying that relationship is more important than God’s own rules!
Richard Rohr, “All Things Change and Grow,” Feb 26, 2018.
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Christ is risen!
People: Christ is risen indeed!
Leader: God again has changed the rules
to bind us together in love.
People: We are loved and forgiven,
healed and transformed!
Leader: Christ is risen!
All: Christ is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
SONG AS THE CHILDREN LEAVE FOR CLASS
Jesus loves us as we grow,
meets us on the paths we go,
keeps us safe and keeps us free,
helps us learn who we should be.
Yes Jesus loves us,
Yes Jesus helps us,
Yes Jesus shows us,
the best way we can go.
Leader: Holy One, your mercy and forgiveness overwhelm us.
People: Rules are more comfortable to follow.
Leader: Your endless, boundless love
is sometimes more than we can bear.
People: Instead, we seek safety
in structures of our own creation.
Leader: Sometimes, Holy One, you are just too much.
All: We want to hide,
safe from the awe of your presence
Leader: God forgives us,
restoring relationship beyond the rules.
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: Holy One, we thank you for your extravagant love,
which embraces all of your Creation,
from flowers to whales, and each one of us.
People: We give thanks for Jesus,
who in his life, death, and resurrection
reveals the full extent of your forgiving love.
Leader 2: We give thanks for the Holy Spirit,
who constantly calls us to loving relationship
with you and one another.
All: We give thanks for your Holy Church,
Christ’s body here on earth,
where we live into forgiving, healing relationships
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 he gave himself up, 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. The crackers are gluten-free.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All: 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. Amen.
Leader: Fully embracing the power
of your infinite and forgiving love,
let us be that love for this broken
and lonely world.
Help us be your ambassadors of hope and peace,
forgiving others as you have forgiven us,
for we are an Easter people!
Christ is risen!
All: Christ is risen indeed! Hallelujah! Amen.