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.

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