As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness – just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Writings to Young Women from Laura Ingalls Wilder: On Wisdom and Virtues, p 66
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Astonishing Maker of all that is,
you call us to notice a world filled with everyday blessings.
People: You fill the dawn with light and birdsong,
the night with darkness and mystery.
Leader: Breathing, comforting Spirit,
you call us to remember
that you are always around us, among us, and within us.
People: You bring us comfort in times of trial,
and fill our hearts with sudden joy, even when we weep.
Leader: Living Healer of all that is broken,
you call us to walk your path of love and gratitude.
All: We come, yearning to follow you
into life and death and resurrection. Amen.
Leader: Eternal, Loving Parent of us all,
you bless us with the things we need
to live in comfort and gladness.
People: We take for granted your everyday gifts,
focusing instead on all that we lack.
Leader: Redeeming Wellspring of goodness,
you care for the lilies, the sparrows,
and each one of us.
People: We turn away from your saving grace
and refuse to believe in your sustaining love.
Leader: Liberating Spirit of wind and fire,
you give us bright sunshine, cool breezes,
and all the common, everyday blessings we need.
All: Forgive us when we close our minds and hearts to gratitude
and refuse to enjoy the ordinary things that bring us comfort.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The Holy One forgives us when we stray
and comforts us with the ordinary gifts of life.
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 of this chaotic reality,
we give you thanks that even when we are dismayed
you open unexpected wellsprings of comfort
like a breath of fresh air.
People: We give you thanks for Jesus,
who shows us the healing comfort
of being together in these trying times.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for the Holy Spirit,
that wild wind of new beginnings
that blows aside the tangle of unknowing
to show us unexpected ways ahead.
All: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
where we are fed with ordinary bread,
blessed and broken to comfort us
as we journey on the way with you.
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 read 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: As we leave this hallowed virtual space,
may the comfort we have found together
become the energy we need
to be expressions of hope and healing.
In the name of the Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit,
let us greet one another with signs of peace.