Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p xiii
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Come let us celebrate and worship
the One who is our hope.
People: We come thirsty for hope.
Leader: Come let us celebrate and worship
the One who is our strength.
People: We come seeking the strength
that will overcome our weariness.
Leader: God implores us not to grow weary
in doing what is right.
All: God is our strength and hope.
With God we will not grow weary.
With God we can have hope.
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: Wisdom calls and Understanding raises her voice,
telling us to rejoice in this created world,
to delight in all that is.
People: We forget to rejoice and delight.
All that is broken makes us unable to hope.
Leader: The Spirit helps us in our weakness,
giving us strength and courage
even when all we can do is groan.
People: We lose ourselves in worry and anxiety,
giving up the hope that morning will ever come.
Leader: Jesus leads us through the shadows of despair
as we wait for the dawn.
All: Forgive us, Holy One, when our weariness
keeps us from doing what is right.
Leader: The God who became human in Jesus
knows our weakness and our despair.
Be assured that we are forgiven and loved,
filled with hope for the road ahead.
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 God of justice and righteousness,
we give you thanks for your law,
given on Mount Sinai and now written on our hearts.
People: We give you thanks for Jesus, the Christ,
who shows us the way to do what is right
and strengthens us so that we don’t grow weary.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
your constant presence everywhere,
your law and your love, deep within our hearts.
All: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
your eternal, living Body,
embracing us, supporting us,
and sending us to do what is right in the world.
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 grain and grape,
and work of human hands
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: Do not be daunted
by the enormity of the world’s grief.
Do justice, now.
Love mercy, now.
Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
but neither are you free to abandon it.
As we go forth in love
let us not grow weary in doing what is right,
and greet one another with signs of peace.
Benediction based on a passage from the Talmud.