When Jesus cries, “I am thirsty,” he binds himself to the hurting of every generation and the sufferers of every century. The cry of thirst is the first sound of a newborn baby and the first plea of every mother after childbirth. Cries for water resound on every battlefield when the butchery is over. A moistened cloth to the lips is the last ministry we can offer a dying loved one. To thirst is to be one of us, and in the very human life of Jesus, the God of all the universe knew thirst.
Peter Storey, Listening at Golgotha, pp. 63-64
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Come, all you who are thirsty,
come and drink the water of life.
People: We are thirsty for justice,
yearning for the end of oppression and fear.
Leader: Come, you who have no money,
and you who are rich in worldly things,
come and eat the bread of life.
People: We are hungry for peace,
yearning for the end of suffering and pain.
Leader: Come, everyone who hungers and thirsts.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
All: We come to feast on the living Word,
to drink with delight
from the everlasting fountain of God.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Holy One, we thirst for you
as in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
Voice 1: We drink at fountains that do not quench thirst.
Voice 2: We eat foods which do not satisfy.
Leader: We have confused excitement for nourishment.
Voice 1: Our thoughts have become muddied.
Voice 2: We keep losing our way.
Leader: In hunger and thirst we are frightened and dismayed.
All: We turn again to you, Holy One,
for you are our help and our salvation.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The One whose steadfast love is the bread of life
knows our hunger.
In the everlasting fountain of God
we find the water that quenches thirst.
We are forgiven.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
PRAYER OF DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT
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.
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 fount of every blessing,we give you thanks
for the living water of your unfailing love,
offered freely to all who thirst.
People: Holy healer of the broken,
we give you thanks
for your presence among us as the Christ,
who helps us learn to share that love.
Leader 2: Holy comforter of those in pain,
we give you thanks
for the unfailing power of your Spirit
washing, cleansing, quenching every thirst.
People: We give you thanks for your holy Church,
a place where the water of life
flows through the ages.
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 a broken 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. Amen.
Leader: We have eaten the bread of life
and drunk deeply of the living water.
Become what you have received.
Go out with your cups and buckets
full of grace for a thirsty, hurting, beautiful world.
May the Spirit like an ever-flowing stream
bathe your hearts and minds in love,
now and in the days to come.