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