Saturday, 31 May 2014

Ascended Lord

John 17:1-11
Jesus Prays for His Disciples
 After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
 “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

The risen, ascended Jesus who prays for you invites you to this table
The risen, ascended Jesus, who came to show us the father invites you to feast on the bread of life
The risen, ascended Jesus who sends the Holy Spirit, invites you to drink the cup of salvation.
So come, out of politeness, out of longing,
Out of plenty, out of need,
Out of sadness, out of celebration
To be nourished by this food and sustained by the prayers of the saints of the past, the present and the future.
Come - the risen, ascended Jesus, calls you to meet him here.

Before he died, Jesus spent lots of time teaching his disciples about his death and resurrection, about his ascension into glory and about the sending of the Holy Spirit.
He shared meals with them, told stories and prayed with them and for them.
On the night he was betrayed, he gathered around the table with them and gave them a memorial in bread and wine.
And so we share the story of this meal and we share a prayer of thanksgiving before we eat this bread and drink this wine in memory of him.

Prayer of Thanksgiving
God we thank you for your promise
that you will not leave us orphaned
We thank you for your promise
that you will send us the helper
The Holy Spirit
who gives us power
to be your body in the world.
We thank you for allowing us
to listen in to the prayer you prayed for us
That we might be one
That we might continue your work in the world.
May we be emboldened by the prayers of your people
May we take time, in prayer to discern your will
and to continue God's mission in the world.
As Jesus prayed for the world, so do we.
Where economies depend on war
may we find ways to finance peace.
Where greed and self promotion have the upper hand
may we model humble sharing.
Where your children are homeless and rejected
may we be inclusive and loving.
Lord, may the community that we model
illustrate the kingdom you desire for all your people.
A kingdom where all are welcome and all are fed.
And so, at this your table, may all find their place,
children of the risen, ascended Jesus.
Lord you know those whom we hold in our hearts and in our thoughts today
Those whose names we know and those we don't
All who need our prayer.
We bring them with us to this place and to your table.
Send your Spirit upon this bread and wine,
symbols of your body broken for us and your blood shed for us.
As we share with one another here may we hold space
for all your children to come and be nourished
by the one who prays for us.
And as we receive again your sacrament of grace
open our hearts to receive from you and from others
the gifts that you pray for us.
May we be one
in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Around the table, with his friends
Jesus took bread and said;
Take, eat, this is my body broken for you

He took the cup, saying
This is the new relationship with God
made possible because of my death
Drink it all of you

We do this to remember Jesus who prays for us

Prayer after communion
Lord we have been welcomed and nourished at your table.
We have been commissioned to take your love into all the world
So with all the saints, in heaven and on earth
who share in this feast
May we continue God's mission in the world
and pray for others as you pray for us.
May we be one as you and the Father are one
in the unity of the Spirit, here and everywhere
Now and forever.

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