More than by fear of going astray, my hope is that we will be moved by the fear of remaining shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within rules which make us harsh judges, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving and Jesus does not tire of saying to us: “Give them something to eat” [Mark 6:37].
Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
(The Joy of the Gospel) Chapter 1, Section 49
November 11, 2013
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Give thanks to the Giver of life,
for the love of God sustains us.
People: We come, wanting to be made ready to serve.
Leader: We who have been saved by God now tell our story:
how we were fed with miraculous food,
gathered together, and led to safety.
People: The love of God opens the way to what we need,
and lights the path toward our new ways to serve.
Leader: Let us hear the cries of those who hunger for hope,
and guide us to become the bread of healing.
All: God’s love – that rough, life-saving mystery –
brings life and hope to all who walk with Christ.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: We are enmeshed in the structures of our lives.
People: They allow us to think we are strong and effective.
Leader: We are protected by policies, procedures, and rules.
People: They help us feel safe and secure.
Leader: We close and lock our doors.
People: They let us ignore those outside who are starving.
- Leader: The Holy One knows our weakness and vulnerability.
We are nourished and strengthened
as we give others something to eat.
We are loved and forgiven.
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: Tender, nourishing Source of summer abundance,
we give you thanks for the table you spread before us,
inviting us to spread your love throughout the world.
People: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
who calls us out of familiar structures,
inviting us to break the rules that protect us
from the hunger that surrounds us.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for your Holy Child, Jesus,
who taught us to listen for your voice
in silence and in solitude,
and to look for you in every person that we meet.
People: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
where we can receive your extravagant love,
and learn to feed those
who are starving outside our doors.
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.
All: O Holy One, send down your Spirit
that these gifts of bread and cup
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.
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: Nourished by our communion with the Holy One,
let us go forth with our eyes refocused,
our ears unplugged,
and our arms spread wide,
to see, hear, and feed those we meet on our journey.
In the name of God the Creator,
Jesus the Christ, and the Spirit within each of us,
let us greet one another with signs of peace.