If the world is sane, then Jesus is mad as a hatter…The world says, Law and order, and Jesus says, Love. The world says, Get, and Jesus says, Give. In terms of the world’s sanity, Jesus is crazy as a coot, and anybody who thinks we can follow him without being a little crazy too is laboring less under a cross than under a delusion.
Frederick Buechner, Listening to Your Life
Quoted in inward/outward April 9, 2009
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Jesus calls us to be the light of the world –
People: To loose the bonds of injustice,
open the eyes that are blind,
and deliver from prison those who sit in darkness.
Leader: God invites us to be a light to the nations –
People: To carry God’s salvation to the ends of the earth.
Leader: The Holy Spirit dwells in us,
Giving us strength to do God’s work.
All: We live in God’s foolish hope for us and for the world!
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Jesus calls us to love one another,
to love everyone,
no matter how dangerous that seems.
People: We listen to the voice of reason,
telling us that laws and rules will keep us safe,
and that safety is the most important goal.
Leader: Jesus calls us to pour out our lives,
to give everything we have for the healing of the world.
People: We listen to the voice of reason,
telling us that money is the measure of success,
and that winning at all costs is always the goal.
Leader: Jesus calls us to follow him
beyond the voice of reason,
into a world of foolish hope.
All: Holy One, forgive us when the delusions of the world
call us away from the reality of the cross.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The foolish One,
who was born in a stable in Bethlehem
and stretched out his arms on a cross in Jerusalem,
forgives us and loves us,
no matter how crazy that seems.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
PRAYER OF COMMITMENT
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: Holy and Loving God, we give thanks
that we, who have walked in darkness,
are surrounded by your great light.
All: We are thankful
for the incarnate life of Jesus of Nazareth
who offered love and justice in his time.
Leader 2: We are grateful for your surprising Spirit
living within us and blowing among us.
All: We offer gratitude for your church,
the community of those who have heard your call
and now seek to be Christ’s body,
offering love and justice in our time.
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 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.
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.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
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.
Leader: Go out into the world
and take up the work of Jesus:
find the lost, heal the broken,
feed the hungry, release the prisoner,
rebuild the nations, bring peace among the people.
Make music in the heart.
No matter how crazy that seems.
Benediction based on The Mood of Christmas by Howard Thurman (pg 23).