we come to worship the living God.
In you, O God, we hope;
in you, Creator of love, we live.
Here in this sacred space, in these very moments,
we are invited to the Table of Joy.
In you, Christ of the Way, we rejoice;
in you, dear Brother, grace is as near as your heart.
Here on this day of gentleness and beauty,
we are filled with the peace of God.
In you, O Spirit, we find our path;
in you, Teacher of hope, we learn to serve.
Prayer of the Day
When we realize how we are
blessed beyond every imagining,
we can sing of your surprising grace
and your steadfast presence
to a world which has grown deaf
from the noise of empty clichés.
When we remember your love
which has no beginning and no end,
when we stand in grace's sweet waters
swirling around our hearts,
we can rejoice in your hope
which sees every person,
even those we would
never invite into our circles,
as your beloved child.
When we remember your call
to treat every single person
with dignity, justice, and hope,
we can share your peace
(even when we don't recognize it)
with a society which believes
violence is the solution
to every single problem.
God in Community, Holy in One,
as you live in us,
so we will live for others,
even as we pray as taught by Jesus,
(The Lord's Prayer)
Call to Reconciliation
Called to have the same mind as Christ, we often spend too much time thinking about all those ways which then lead us astray. But, if we confess our sins, God will forgive us, and strengthen us to be Christ's sisters and brothers. Join me as we pray together, saying,
Unison Prayer for Forgiveness
You would call us to your feast, Inviting God, but our busy lives keep us from responding. You remember every word we utter, every prayer we whisper, but we forget all the little ways you care for us. You would make your gentleness known through us, but we lash out in anger and fear towards others.
Forgive us, God of all hope, and remember your Servant, Jesus Christ. In him, we can live in your way. Through him, we can learn the dreams you have for us. With him, we can open our arms and embrace all the people we meet.
Silence is kept
Assurance of Pardon
As we are forgiven by God, we can begin to reflect on all those ways in which we can live justly, act honorably, love completely. This is indeed good news for us.
At the Wedding Feast, we are fed with grace, and nourished with joy, so we may go and bring hope and peace to everyone we meet. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
May the One who works wonders be with you!
And also with you!
People of God, listen to the One who teaches you life.
Unlock our hearts, O God, that we might hear you.
Children of God, you are called to servanthood.
We sing praises to the One who fills us with compassion,
so we might know the deepest needs of those around us.
Silencing the noise of chaos,
God of wonder and might,
you created the heavens and earth,
your steadfast love poured out
into the oceans brimming with life,
your joy flowing into every valley of hope.
Your heart melted with love
as you created us in your image,
so we might live with you
in that garden of peace.
But we exchanged your dreams
for the seductive lies of death,
so we might graze in sin's fallow fields.
You longed to bring us back,
making your gentleness known
in prophets throughout the ages.
When we continued to refuse
your invitation to your heart,
you sent Jesus to us,
to round up all of your children
and lead them home to you.
So, with those who stood at the foot of mountains,
and those who continue on the journey,
we lift our hearts and voices,
praising your name forever.
Holy, holy, holy are you, God of peace and justice.
We have heard the good news of Jesus' grace;
we have seen the service of his followers;
we have received his hope from surprising people;
we have learned to trust him in every moment.
Blessed is he who came to make us known to you.
Hosanna in the highest!
We praise your name, Catering God,
remembering your acts of grace.
Loving us with a passion beyond compare,
Jesus came to fill us with compassion.
Aware of our hunger for hope,
he feeds us with your steadfast grace.
Understanding death's grip on us,
he came to defeat it's power,
that we could live with you forever.
As we rejoice in the feast you provide,
as we remember the sacrifice, death and resurrection of our Lord,
we proclaim that mystery we call faith:
We celebrate the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem;
we remember the life which Jesus led;
we rejoice in Christ's coming to us in glory.
In your gentleness and wonder,
God of all joy,
pour out your Holy Spirit on us,
and the gifts of your Table.
As the bread of life
not only feeds us,
but makes us one as Christ's Body,
may we bring healing
to our broken world.
As the cup of grace
not only refreshes us
but unites us in the Spirit of service,
may we go forth to be
a river of righteousness
flowing to those who live
in oppression and hopelessness.
And when we gather at the Table
you prepare for us in glory,
when we feast with all
our sisters and brothers
from every time and place,
we will join our voices
and praise you forever,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
(c) Thom M. Shuman