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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