(A communion celebrated using original readings and the lyrics of U2 songs)
Song: I still haven’t found what I’m looking for
Reading: Matthew 9,10 (The Message)
35-38Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. "What a huge harvest!" he said to his disciples. "How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!"
1-4 The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives.
5-8Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
"Don't begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don't try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.
Reading: We think we know
We think we know about mission.
We are the church.
That’s our speciality.
So we will look for those obvious needs
and those glaring wants
and go and pitch in.
when we have the time
when the setting is right.
We have lots to offer.
Maybe not much time.
Maybe not too many folk
But we are the church
And that has to count for something.
So we will go where we can be seen
We will go where we can be safe
We will go wherever we see a need.
And, if folk are less than enthusiastic
If they don’t seem to want our help
That’s their problem, not ours.
We are called to serve
We are called to mission
So we will serve and we will miss.
Because God is actually somewhere else.
Working in the places we don’t see
Or never thought of.
God is down all those blind alleys
that we would never venture.
Engrossed with real mission.
Too absorbed to notice our feeble attempts
in the wrong places
but if we asked.
If we sought God out before we plunged in
If we tracked God down
We would discover that there’s plenty
for us to be involved in
just not in the places we thought.
Maybe not even in the ways we imagined.
It IS mission.
But not as we know it.
And maybe next time we assume
That we know where and when and how
Instead we will keek round the corners
And down those bind alleyways
And listen for God’s laughter
Listen for God’s great sobs
As wounds are bound
And hurts are tended
And broken and bruised lives
Are loved back to health.
And barriers are smashed
Then we might know
That mission belongs to God.
And then we might be grateful
That God shows us where and when and how
And invites us to join in
To take part in the work of God
breaking down barriers
in our world.
Thanksgiving prayer: Song: Gloria
Sharing communion: Song: Grace
Reading: Grief behind locked doors
After Jesus set up his memorial in the Last Supper, he was betrayed and crucified.
The disciples were bereft, with no hope of anything else and went and hid behind locked doors.
When sorrow is too deep for tears
When its more of an ache deep inside
When its something that catches in the windpipe and refuses to go any further,
allowing neither release nor relief
When there's a burning behind the eyes,
that makes the cheekbones hurt and temples throb
Grief promulgated by disappointment and the searing pain of hurt -
the kind one only experiences in the betrayal of friends, in the dissolution of trust.
Its a grief that cannot be integrated as other griefs might,
accepted as a part of the cost of life and of love.
Its edges are far too jagged to be buffed down and held close.
Its not natural as loss is natural.
The element of betrayal just doesn't allow a coming to terms.
The disciples knew this grief.
The grief of losing something that held such promise and brought such pain.
This searing grief seemed insurmountable.
No way through.
A brick wall behind which they cowered in despair.
How quickly that wall came crashing down – when the risen Lord appeared beside them
and breathed into their grief.
Showed them a way forward - out of their locked room,
over their brick wall into a whole new enterprise.
Death - another barrier smashed.
Praying for just a whiff of that same Spirit in the grief that is ours.
Song: In the name of love
Reading: He saw me
He saw me
he looked into my eyes and saw me
Not the things I’d done
Not all that others said about me
He saw me
looked deep into my soul
saw the need
saw the beauty
and loved me
Song: Walk on