Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Re-discovering Advent

2 Kings 22:1-10; 23:1-3
Josiah Reigns over Judah
Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.
Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law
In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of the Lord, saying, “Go up to the high priest Hilkiah, and have him count the entire sum of the money that has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people; let it be given into the hand of the workers who have the oversight of the house of the Lord; let them give it to the workers who are at the house of the Lord, repairing the house, that is, to the carpenters, to the builders, to the masons; and let them use it to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the house. But no accounting shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.”
The high priest Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.” When Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, he read it. Then Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workers who have oversight of the house of the Lord.” Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “The priest Hilkiah has given me a book.” Shaphan then read it aloud to the king.
2 Kings 23:1-3
Josiah’s Reformation
Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.

Come to this table to begin a journey of rediscovery today
At this table, rediscover Gods word made flesh
At this table, rediscover God's light rekindled
At this table, rediscover God's welcome for you
Come, rediscover God's love made real in bread and wine

To a world hoping and longing, God sent the Christ child to bring light
That light became a refugee, forced to seek grace and safety from strangers
That light survived to teach and heal, to tell stories and share wisdom
That light, the Son of God, gathered around him friends to whom he entrusted
the light of the gospel, friends who sometimes let the light burn brightly and who sometimes let it dwindle, friends in whom he never stopped believing
And so we gather around this table today, as Jesus did the night he was betrayed.
We gather to share bread, symbol of Christ's body broken for us.
We gather to share the cup, symbol of Christ's blood poured out for us that we might know salvation.
We gather, friends of Jesus today.
In some here, Chrsit's light shines brightly, in some it is but a spark
Still, Christ believes in each of us.
So as you share this feast, may the light of Christ be rekindled in you.
Let us give thanks to God

Prayer of Thanksgiving
God we thank you that you never stop believing in us.
And you entrust us with your light.
In gratitude, deep gratitude, may we take the light you offer us here into every corner of our world.
Into the darkness of food insecurity
Into the darkness of homelessness
Into the darkness of poverty
Into the darkness of the refugee camps
Into the darkness of radicalisation
Into the darkness of terrorism
God, wherever your light is needed today, may your people, to whom you have entrusted it, be torch bearers, gently rekindling sparks that have been extinguished, fanning into flame love that has been broken and hope that has been crushed.
May we recall and celebrate the light of your love for the world.
May we bring to this feast all who dwell in darkness praying for the healing touch of your light.
Send your Spirit now upon us and upon this bread and wine that we use.
May we who share this feast proclaim your love and shine your light in all the world today.
Go before us, our light and our salvation.

This is the body of Christ broken for you to bring light into all the world
This is the blood of Christ poured out for you bringing healing in the darkness.
We do this to remember the light.

Prayer after communion
God as you have offered us in this feast your light and your love, may we be strengthened for the journey and carry others with us into the glorious light of your love that lasts forever.

Friday, 4 September 2015

With all the saints

Hebrews 11:1-16, 12:1,2
The Meaning of Faith
​Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
The Examples of Abel, Enoch, and Noah
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.
The Faith of Abraham
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”
All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

By faith you are invited to come on a journey
A journey that takes you into God's story
Into the heart of that long line of saints whose stories we have shared in this place
By faith, the risen Lord Jesus invites you to gather around this table and to share in this feast 
that is part of the story of faith and of hope and of love.
Come, be a part of this story today.

Listen again to the story of this sacrament.
Our Lord Jesus, the night he was betrayed, gathered around him those disciples with whom he had shared his journey.
He sat at table with friends, those with whom he fished, those with whom he had taught, those he'd  called from their nets to be about God's business.
As they shared supper, they recalled stories of their life together and they began to write a new story.
After supper, Jesus took bread. He blessed it and broke it and offered it to them, saying: This is my body, broken for you. Do this to remember me.
He took the cup and told them: This is the new relationship with God made possible because of my death. Drink this cup and remember me.
Today, this bread and this cup become part of the story of faith.
We share them to remember the life and death of our Lord and the new relationship we have with God because Christ makes us part of the story of faith.
So let us give thanks.

Prayer of Thanksgiving
God we thank you for the stories of faith.
Those written long ago.
Those still being written today.
We thank you that you place us firmly in that story, with that long line of saints, of the past, the present and the future.
You invite us to co-author with you the next part of the story.
So we thank you for this table and for this sacrament by which you remind us of your love and your invitation to go on a journey.
A journey that is unpredictable.
A journey that takes us places we might never have imagined.
A journey that takes us to the heart of God.
As we respond to your gracious invitation, we bring with us all those who journey today.
Those whose journeys have become more about survival than about living.
Those whose journeys have become flights of desperation rather than gentle meandering.
At this table, we embrace, in this story of faith, refugees throughout the world whose stories have touched and horrified us with their tales of desperation.
We pray for parents desperate enough to take their children into precarious waters because that is safer than staying on land.
We pray for families desperate enough to risk their lives by hiding in confined spaces, hoping to be transported to safety.
We pray for all those desperate enough to risk harm and scorn and rejection and even death to seek a better way of life for themselves and their family.
God may their desperation be our inspiration.
May we be inspired to care.
May we be inspired to take action, to do what we can to make a difference.
And may we be inspired to pray without ceasing.
Send your Spirit upon this bread and wine today that it may become for us a means of discovering your grace anew.
As we share today the bread of life and the cup of salvation may we be inspired to intervene as you did, to reach into and change the stories that are being woven all around us. 
To intervene with compassion and even with sacrifice to ensure that your saints today reach out and help one another on the journey that you continue to make with us and all your children.
A journey of faith that knows no borders.
A story of love that knows no limits.
God make us, your people gathered at this table today, part of that story that changes lives, changes governments, changes nations and changes the world.

The grace and love of God is present today in this bread, broken for you.
Take, eat and remember.

A new relationship with God is offered today in this cup.
Drink deep and be inspired to compassion.

Prayer after communion
God in bringing us to this table, you have fed us with love and compassion and confronted us with the story of your children today, a story played out In so many ways through the ages,a story that won't be changed unless we step up and make a difference.
And so, with the food of your love barely digested in us, may we call on your strength to do what is right, what is just, what is loving.
May we step out in faith to write with you a new story in which all your people share in the resources that you have given, inspired by desperation to love and compassion.
Make each of us a part of that new story of faith and life that is your will for all people.
For the glory of God

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Bless the Lord

Psalm 113
God the Helper of the Needy
​Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
praise the name of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time on and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

This is Christ's table where all are welcome
Those who are full of praise
Those who are full of woe 
Those for whom life brings joy
Those for whom life brings challenge
Whoever you are 
Whatever you face
Christ meets you here offering love and grace
Come to Christ's table knowing Christ welcomes you here.

Christ walked with friends and strangers
along dusty roads and rocky shores
on beaches and hillsides
At bedsides and gravesides
He taught and healed, laughed and cried
Lifted people up or got down beside them
And, on the night he was betrayed,
he gathered some of those friends
around a table in an upper room. 
He washed their feet and taught them to serve
He fed their minds and bodies and taught them to share.
He took bread, blessed it and broke it, and told them:
This is my body broken for you.
And then he took a cup and told them:
This cup symbolises a new beginning with God 
made possible because of my death. 
Do this to remember me.
And so we take this bread and this cup 
and we give thanks to God for these symbols of grace.
Let us pray

God, like the Psalmist we praise you today
because you accept us just as we are.
The rejoicing and the grieving
Those who are content and those who are restless
Those who find life easy, those who find life hard
You know us and love us and hold out your arms in welcome.
And so we come, some with faltering steps, some at a run 
some in our own time, some dragged along by others.
We come and find you waiting on us.
As we bask in your welcome we bring with us
all who need to be fed today
Those hungry for love
Those hungry for knowledge
Those hungry for justice, those hungry for peace
Those hungry for shelter, those hungry for status
Those hungry for stability, those hungry for family.
At your table there is room for all and enough for all.
Those of this world- and the next.
And so we thank you that you call us sons and daughters.
You lift us from the places we have been and open up for us new horizons.
Send your Spirit on these symbols that we use here.
May our hearts and minds be open wide in wonder that such love and grace
And mercy and forgiveness is crammed into a sip of wine and a cube of bread.
And as we share together may we know at your table 
there is room for us and room for all.
And may we bless your name forevermore.

In this bread, we know Christ's body broken for us
We share the feast together
In this cup we know a new relationship with God
We do this to remember him

Prayer after Communion
God we have been fed at this table
We have been nourished and encouraged
We have been cradled in caring and lifted in love
Help us now to go into all the world sharing the gifts we have been given
until all your world is fed.
Knowing your grace in simple things, may we simply live to hand on your love
as you have handed it to us.
May we carry your very self in us so that all may see you
 the God of the Universe making your home with us
Bless the Lord O my soul.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

On a journey

Hopes and dreams for the journey
A Communion Liturgy written for a RevGals event in Scotland

God of familiar paths and new discoveries
We greet you here
God of ancient texts and fresh insight
We open our hearts
God embraced by some, rejected by others
We make room for you this day
As you make room for us.
Remove all that would keep us from recognising you as we worship you here
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Luke 24:28-35
As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Two women walked the road
And as they walked
they talked - 
of death and resurrection
of hope and promise
of faith and discernment
of love and discipleship
Sharing a vocation
that is costly and demanding
Sifting through the detritus
for the jewels that are buried.
And between them
was the risen Christ
listening and encouraging
consoling and affirming
making his presence known
in the breaking of the bread of life
- the sharing of stories
of joys and disappointments
of comfort and longings
Souls laid bare
not seeking answers
or solutions
not even congratulations
or commiserations
But simply the sacred gift
Of listening
in which the work of healing is begun.

(This week has been a week of revelations, of companionship, of listening and of healing and now, as we share Communion together, let's hear Christ's invitation to us.)

We come from North and South, from East and West.
Christ invites us to sit at table, one with each other and with God.

Christ walks alongside us opening our eyes to the things of the Spirit
Inviting us to enter into a deeper relationship, a new understanding, changing us one step at a time.
On the night he was betrayed, Jesus shared super with his disciples, one who would betray him, one who would deny him and the others who would run away.
Knowing all that -  Jesus invited them into a new relationship made possible because of his death.
Today in the midst of our pilgrimage, Christ invites us to do the same.
To break bread and to share the cup in memory of him.

Let us give thanks;

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Walking and talking
Going ahead
Hanging back
Jesus meets us on the road
The road that is strewn with pebbles
The road that is full of pot holes
At times with strident steps
At times with faltering shuffle
Sometimes matching our pace
Sometimes slowing us down or moving us on
God we thank you for this time away from our daily routine
Sharing with strangers, now friends
We thank you for all the evidence of your presence as we have travelled
Breadcrumbs dropped along the way
For expectations met or exceeded
For hopes kindled or fulfilled
For challenges laid down or taken up
We bring to you those we have met on the way this week
Those physically present
Those we have carried in our hearts and minds
And those whose stories we have heard and shared
We thank you for causing our hearts to burn within us
as you have revealed to us new insight
as you have unlocked mystery
and upset our certainty,
uprooting, changing, bending and breaking
And now as we break bread together with you in our midst
send your Holy Spirit on these your gifts
May we be nourished and inspired to continue our pilgrimage
In the name of Christ our beginning and our ending

Sharing Peace
Gods peace is here, not to make us content, but to make us restless to find our way home.
Let us share the peace together.

RevGals Pheeto

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Maundy Thursday: Matthew

*On this day our Lord went again to Jerusalem. In the evening in the Upper Room, he washed the feet of the disciples, and instituted the blessed sacrament of his Body and Blood. He spoke the words of comfort and peace, gave the promise of the Holy Spirit and made the great intercession. In the Garden of Gethsemane he endured his agony. Betrayed by Judas and arrested by his enemies, he was taken to prison and to judgement.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
(*Church of Scotland Prayers for the Christian Year 1935)

As we gather on this holy night
As we follow Jesus and his disciples to the upper room
where they shared the Passover meal,
As we take our place at the table, hanging on Jesus' every word,
and celebrate the feast in memory of him,
then follow him to the garden
where he was betrayed and arrested,
may we see ourselves in all the antics of the disciples
Some who stay in the background
Some who step up to defend Jesus
Some who are betrayers
Some who would deny him
Some who get scared and run away
But all who nonetheless are welcomed by Jesus
who knows us and loves us.
And in sharing this sacrament here
may we know God's love and forgiveness
reaching out to us
and drawing us close.
This night and always

The Preparation of the Passover Matthew 26:1-5,14-16
 Matthew 26:1-5
 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”
 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

Hymn  - Ride on, ride on

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
Matthew 26:26-30
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
 While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

We gather round this table tonight, much like the disciples did, with Jesus in our midst. Jesus calls us friends and invites us to share in his body broken for us and his blood poured out for us in love.
We do this to remember him.

Lord, here is bread and wine
And here are your disciples
gathered around your table
As we partake of this food
that you make holy
may we do so
fully aware
that we are capable 
of betraying you
just as Judas did.
Send your Spirit upon these your gifts
and as we share in communion
with you and each other
and with all the saints
crowding around this sanctuary
jostling for a place
may we know your healing
and your forgiveness
in every part of our lives.
May your selfless giving
teach us how to give and forgive
for the healing of the nations.
We do this to remember you.

Hymn  - Twas on that night

The body of Christ broken for us.
The blood of Christ poured out in love.

Sharing of Communion


Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
 Matthew 26:36-46
 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”

Hymn  - Praise to the holiest

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
 Matthew 26:47-56
 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Hymn  - We turn to God

Not over
We know it's not over
But for now we go and wait
on the authorities
doing their worst
Offloading the responsibility 
and blame
As they achieve
their inevitable outcomes
All the while knowing
We would have done the same...

Stripping of the Sanctuary

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Earth Shattering

Matthew 28:1-10
The Resurrection of Jesus
​After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Do not be afraid
The darkness is overcome
Do not be afraid
The betrayer does not have the last word
Do not be afraid
Death is defeated
In the light of the new dawn
The Risen Christ invites you to this table
where we feast on the love of God

This do in remembrance of me.
Jesus, who astounded the women who came to the tomb early in the morning with his risen presence, gathered his friends around him the night before his death. His disciples were there, some who would flee, some who would betray, some who would deny. And the women were there,who would look on and weep as Jesus was tried, convicted and crucified.
He shared the Passover meal with these friends who had journeyed with him.
He spoke to them of his impending betrayal, suffering and death, though they did not understand.
After supper, he took bread, blessed it, broke it and shared it, saying:  Do this in remembrance of me.
Then he took the cup and gave it to them saying: this cup is the new relationship with God made possible because of my death. Drink it all of you to remember me.
We who live in the light of the Resurrection give thanks for Jesus' willingness to die for us.
And we do this to remember him.

Prayer of Thanksgiving
Risen Christ, you emerge from the earthquake proclaiming : Do not be afraid
Surrounded by angels, you roll away the stone from all the tombs that imprison today.
Tombs of fear, of despair, of hopelessness, of lovelessness. Tombs of hurt and emptiness, of betrayal and death.
You roll back those stones and you sit on them calling your children to emerge from the darkness into your glorious light.
 Not only do you call us out - but you commission us - to go and tell the good news.
As we remember you here, as we celebrate your resurrection and feast on your love, may we be freed from fear and filled with urgency to share the good news.
In all that rocks the life of others, may we be willing to stand with you in the midst, bringing hope, light, love and life.
Risen Christ, send your Spirit on this bread and wine today, that as we remember your death and share this resurrection food, we may be rudely awakened to your disturbing presence and be shaken out of our complacency by the power of your love here in this place today.

Christ, whose body was broken for us 
meets us on this day of Resurrection 
to take our fear away

Christ whose blood was poured out for us
meets us on this day of Resurrection
commissioning us to share the Good News

Out of the earthquake that rolled the stone away
see the Risen Christ emerge for you 

Prayer after Communion
We have feasted on the love of God
We have celebrated that death is overcome
and that darkness gives way to light
Now we go into the world
To share the earth-shattering good news
that Christ is risen
He is risen indeed.
Alleluia! Amen.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Come early, come late

Matthew 20:1-16
The Laborers in the Vineyard
​“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

This table is spread
For the old and the young
For the long-timers and the new-comers
For those who feel at home and those who are just settling in
It is the table of our Lord
Where grace is extended to all
So come and join the feast
You for whom this is new
And you who do this often
Here, know the grace of God
embraces you.
Feel welcome, valued and affirmed
As God meets us here in bread and in wine.

Jesus gathered friends around him
To teach, to heal, 
to live, to love, to laugh
Over meals they shared stories and created memories together.
And the night he was betrayed, sharing supper with his friends,
Jesus took bread,
He broke it, blessed it and shared it
And said: Do this to remember me
As he passed around the cup after supper
He said: This cup tells of a new relationship made possible with God
Drink this to remember me.
Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup
you remember my dying for you.

Prayer of Thanksgiving
God we bring you our thanks today for memories
Memories created with loved ones now lost
Memories created new every day with those with whom we now share life
You are a God who never forgets
A God who loves us - not because of who we have been
Or because of our potential
But because of who we are now
Your beloved children
You welcome us to this table
Those of us for whom this is a familiar ritual
And those of us for whom it is new
You welcome us
And you give every moment new significance
Finding ourselves known and loved and welcomed at your table
we bring with us today
those who feel rejected
those who have never known a place set for them at any table
and those whose memories of table
are too far in the past to remember
or so traumatic that they have tried to forget.
We bring those who feel their value is only in what they can bring
who have never known themselves valued for who they are.
As we meet your generosity here
we pray for those who withhold from others
what is rightfully theirs.
For all those we exclude or overlook in our everyday.
May our experience of sharing at your table today
transform us in the way we make room for others
and in the way that we recreate memories
that honour your love shown for us here in the symbols of bread and wine
your body broken for us, your love poured out.
So send your Spirit on this bread and wine that we share, 
May we be fed, nourished, held and changed.
May our horizons be expanded
our certainties challenged
and our memories made new
as we meet you in this feast.

Jesus, the night he was betrayed, took bread, blessed it broke it and shared it.
We do this to remember him.

After supper, he took the cup, symbol of a new start with God. Sharing it, he said:
Do this to remember me.

We meet Jesus here and celebrate the generosity of God. 
Break this bread. Drink this cup. Make room for others.
Know God's welcome healing you today.

Prayer after communion
At your table O God we find welcome.
At your table we find healing.
At your table we find grace enough to spill over into our daily lives.
Filled with your spirit may we go from here to practice generosity
creating a new reality for those who expect only rejection
making room for those who have known only exclusion
And so may we usher in your new kingdom 
where the last shall be first 
and the first shall be last.