In the struggle to become Christ’s Body, we have only one weapon and one alone: Love…. Love is what first softened your heart and mine. Love brought us into the struggle. Love alone has the power to break hearts open so that we will all lay down our defenses and join in the cosmic movement toward a new heaven, a new earth, in a Holy City whose foundation is Love.
Gordon Cosby, Seized by the Power of a Great Affection: Meditations on the Divine Encounter, page 41
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Come all who long to know
the healing power of God’s amazing love.
Voice 1: We hear that God is with us and is in us every moment,
Leader: There is not a single moment
when we are not sustained and held in existence
by that Presence.
Voice 2: We know that God is the very medium of our existence,
just as water is the medium of existence for the fish.
Leader: No matter where we are,
the loving Presence that is God knows us,
cherishes us, delights in us.
All: We are here,
ready to be seized by the power of God’s love.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Holy One, we bring to you today the same old problems,
which keep coming up, again and again.
People: We cling to our separate selves.
Even with good relationships,
we feel lonely deep inside.
Leader: We are haunted by past failures,
by all the times we missed the mark
and did not hear your call.
People: Our lives fall out of balance.
We long for peace within
and among all the strands of what we do.
Leader: Choices we make, moment by moment,
change our lives and the lives of others.
All: Our struggles are personal, yet shared by all.
We need your forgiveness, mercy, and love
Leader: Holy One, you have searched us and you know us.
You find us on the journey and guide our steps.
You forgive us and surround us with your love.
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: 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 Maker of earth and heaven and all that is in them,
we give you thanks for your promise
to bind up what is broken,
to make all things new.
People: Holy Lover of all that you have made,
we give you thanks for your child, Jesus,
who leads us on the journey
towards the Holy City whose foundation is love.
Leader 2: Holy Giver of life and breath,
we give you thanks for your Spirit
moving within us and among us and around us,
inviting into the cosmic dance of joy.
People: Holy, radiant, eternal Presence,
we give you thanks for your church,
where the power of love breaks our hearts open
so that we can become what we are,
the Body of Christ.
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
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.
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: Keep following. Keep Praying. Keep loving.
Do these three things daily,
whether you like it or not.
One day you will know the presence,
radiant, strong, and real.
The Bright and Morning Star
will flood into your life.