Sunday, 2 March 2014

Choose life

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

The living God journeys with us
through all the twists and turns of life
offering us food for the journey
Here at this table we are invited to choose life
So come and be nourished
Come and rediscover love
Come and find the path God wants you to take
The God of life meets us here

Jesus journeyed with his disciples
leading them on paths they would never have imagined
He taught them as they travelled
about love and relationships and hospitality.
And he set up a memorial meal with them
taking bread and breaking it
taking wine and sharing it
symbols of how far he would go
to offer life in all its fullness.
And so we take bread and wine today
and as we share them
we remember that the way Christ offered life to us
was by giving his life for the world.
Let us pray

Prayer of Thanksgiving
God you know how fickle your people are
You know that we quickly forget all that you have done for us
how easily we grumble and become discouraged.
Yet still you gave your Son to show us that your promise is true
that you love the world and all that you created.
So even when we forget you, you wait patiently so that we can easily find you again.
When we turn away you lovingly turn us back to the light of your love.
As we journey through life you dog our steps, sometimes gently nudging,
sometimes prodding and sometimes dragging us forward.
You know the best ways, the ways that lead to life.
And, when our spirits flag, you carry us through until we find our feet again.
As we journey to your table today, may we meet you here
holding out food for our pilgrimage
food that sustains and strengthens
and brings us life.
God we remember all who have journeyed with us.
Those who have trodden a path for us.
Those who have shown us how to travel.
And we pray that we may take our place in that line of pilgrims
leading others on a journey to fulfilment in you.
May we light another's path,sharing the light we receive from you.
Help us too, to scoop up those we find by the wayside.
The lost and the lonely, the weary and downtrodden,the proud and the anguished
who see no way back and no way forward.
May we offer a helping hand, a cup of water,a feast of love
so that all may find the strength to choose life
and follow the way that you map out.
The way that leads to the kingdom of peace and promise and justice for all your people.
As we feast on your body and blood this day may we know ourselves strengthened
With the food of love - with more than enough to share
For the sake of your kingdom

This is the body of Christ broken for you
Feast on him and find strength for the journey

This is the blood of Christ shed for you
Be drenched in love as you drink it.

Christ's gifts to us, sustenance for life.

Prayer after communion
God as you ask us to love you, to walk in your ways
and to keep your commands, we thank you that you nourish and sustain us
and keep on showing us a new way for a new day.
And so may this feast of your love this day lead us on
revealing the way that you want us to travel
equipping and assuring us that you walk right beside us.
So may we be fuelled to take risks, to try new things, knowing your safety net of love
waits to catch us and sets us straight once more to join you on the journey.
God of life, we choose you.

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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Technicolour Feast

Matthew 17:1-9
The Transfiguration
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

It is good for us to be here.
Not to build tents.
Not to capture the moment.
But to meet Christ who transforms us by his brightness
So draw near to this table
You are welcomed by a dazzling God
who makes room for all to feast.

On the mountain top and on the plain
Jesus feasted with the people who gathered round
At kitchen tables or in front rooms
He made every meal a feast
And the night before he was betrayed
He gathered his disciples round
and as he ate and drank
He set up this meal by which we remember him
So, gathered round this table,
let us make room for others
to share with all the saints,,past and present
To do as Jesus did
And let us give thanks

Prayer of Thanksgiving
God who transforms a simple meal into a feast for saints
we gather round, shuffling along, making room for others,
conscious that we are part of something much bigger.
As we take our place at your table
we give you thanks that you take common things, bread and wine
and transform them into the body and blood of Jesus
whom you sent to show us your love.
At this table, Lord, we are conscious of spaces where folk are missing.
Those who are ill, those who cannot leave their homes or loved,ones, those who have lost their way here and those who have gone from our sight and who now dine with you.
May we know a bond with all your people in heaven and on earth.
As we taste the riches of your blessed sacrifice and know the power of your transforming love
may we make room in the sanctuary of our hearts for all those at whose tables Jesus sat and those whose lives he transformed.
The poor, the outcasts, the homeless, the judged and rejected, those who lived on the edge, those who did not conform, the bereaved, the lonely, the depressed, the anxious and those whose social status brought isolation.
Transforming God, as we share in communion here, may we be dazzled by your brightness and by the power of your love to make a difference, even when we have lost hope.
So feed us and nourish us with love and joy and hope so that the light of your love transforms the darkest corners of our hearts and lives and the world in which we live.
May your Spirit descend upon this bread and wine, transforming it, transforming us.
In the name of God whose love and transforming power knows no bounds.

Christ, transfigured on the mountain top
descends to share everyday food
Take, eat, this is Christ's body broken for you.

This cup is the promise of a new relationship with God
Drink this to remember Christ died for you.

Transforming gifts from a transforming God

Prayer after communion
God, here we have handled holy things.
So change us from within.
May we bask in your glowing appearance and be moved
to go and transform our world, our church and our community
with the power of your love that makes every encounter special
and full of potential.
And God, help us never to settle for the ordinary but to expect to see
all of life in dazzling technicolour
For the joy of the kingdom

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad