There is nothing higher, nothing more holy [than the body]. It is nonsense to contrast God with the body. Be it the individual human body, or the body of humanity itself, or, indeed, the body of all that was created…. Our hands are God’s hands in the world. Our hearts are God’s heart in the world. God pulsating. God beating. God yearning and open and growing in history.
Carter Heyward, Touching Our Strength. p 140
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Come, people of the Way,
come find your place in the Body of Christ.
Voice 1: We come, hungry for hope,
longing for God’s loving embrace.
Voice 2: We come, wanting to learn,
longing for new life in the Realm of God.
Leader: We come to join together as a Body,
All: Learning from the Holy Spirit
as we work and play and worship together.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Holy One, you live in and among us
and call us to be your Body.
We come to you broken, in need of healing.
People: We believe that we are created in your image,
yet we neglect to love and care for our bodies.
Leader: We do not trust in your providence,
forgetting the example of the birds of the air,
the lilies of the field.
People: We long for relationship with you
and with one another,
yet we isolate ourselves in narrow self-interest.
Leader: We are formed from the dust of your beautiful earth,
yet we dishonor the earth and destroy its life.
All: Merciful God, forgive us, heal us,
and restore us in your Body.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: Through your broken Body
you restore us to wholeness, again and again.
We are forgiven.
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, transforming God, we give thanks
for the body of all that has been created,
for the bodies which you have given to all that live.
All: We give thanks for your Holy Child, Jesus,
whose body was broken on the cross
for the sake of the healing of the world.
Leader 2: We give thanks for your Holy Spirit,
opened, yearning and growing,
leading us into the unknown future.
All: We give thanks for your Holy Church,
the hands and feet and heart of God,
the Body of Christ, living today 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 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: Our hands are the hands of God in the world.
Our hearts are the heart of God in the world.
Go forth in courage,
knowing that Creation waits with eager longing
for us to reveal ourselves as the children of God.