And this is it. This is the life we get here on earth. We get to give away what we receive. We get to believe in each other. We get to forgive and be forgiven. We get to love imperfectly. And we never know what effect it will have for years to come. And all of it…all of it is completely worth it.”
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People, p. 172
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: God of mercy and justice,
you call us to embrace our life here on earth.
People: You ask us to give you our pain,
to open our hearts to the mystery of life.
Leader: God of compassion and truth,
you invite us to welcome the mind of Christ in us.
People: You ask us to give ourselves to others,
to forgive and accept forgiveness.
Leader: God of faith and fortitude,
you lead us toward an unknown future through turbulent times.
All: Today, we begin again,
living in this new moment,
learning to let your mind flow out from deep within.
Leader: The mind of Christ in us tells us to give away what we receive.
People: We think we don’t have enough, so we keep what we have.
Leader: The mind of Christ in us tells us to believe in each other.
People: We think some are better than others, so we judge each other.
Leader: The mind of Christ in us tells us to forgive and to love.
All: We think that our imperfect love is no good.
Forgive us for our self-centeredness and lack of faith.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The mind of Christ is also in us.
We are 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: Holy Creator, we give you thanks and praise,
for the abundant lives you have given us.
People: We give you thanks for Jesus the Christ,
who gave away all that he received
and showed us how to live as he did.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
offering us strength to love imperfectly
and to accept the love we are given.
All: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
the fragile, earthen vessel of your people,
holding in the present moment
our past and the years to come.
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 he gave himself up, 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 grain and grape,
and work of human hands
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
Please use what you have at home as you eat the bread and drink from the cup today.
If you do not have grape juice, use whatever is convenient.
As a sign of gathering in spirit while scattered, you may want to lift your bread toward your camera as we break bread together.
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: With the mind of Christ in us in each moment of our lives,
let us remember to give away what we have received,
believe in one another,
forgive and be forgiven,
love, however imperfectly,
and greet everyone with peace and grace.