Sunday, 21 February 2016

All about love

Mark 12:28-44
The First Commandment
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.
The Question about David’s Son
While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the son of David?
David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet.” ’
David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.
Jesus Denounces the Scribes
As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
The Widow’s Offering
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Come, dine.
Jesus invites all to this table.
The rich and the poor.
The proud and the humble.
All who live in abundance.
All who live in scarcity.
Jesus calls us, who are not far from the kingdom
to share at this table where there is love and nourishment for all.
Come, dine at the table of our Lord.

As Jesus made his way to Jerusalem, he taught his disciples about life and death, about suffering and triumph, about loving God and loving each other. He asked and answered questions and did all that he could to prepare those he loved for what lay ahead.
And, on their last night together, the night on which he was betrayed, he gathered his disciples around a table, shared supper with them, and instituted this memorial, the sacrament that we share in memory of him.
Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, saying: This is my body, broken for you. Take, eat, to remember me.
After supper, he took the cup saying: This cup is the cup of salvation, making possible the forgiveness of sin and a new relationship with God. Drink this to remember me.
Here we have symbols of Christ's body broken for us and Christ's blood poured out for us.
Let us give thanks to God.

Prayer of Thanksgiving
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength. And love your neighbour as yourself."
Jesus, Son of God who is love, as we gather round your table to follow your instruction to remember you in bread and wine, may we be called back to remember all the other things you taught us:
To love God and one another.
To share what we have.
To live humbly, at peace with one another.
As we approach your table we confess that we have failed to heed your teaching here in this community and we have failed our brothers and sisters throughout the world.
So, before we share these holy symbols of love that you prepare for us, we bring to you our prayers of confession and our prayers for those we have not loved as you love.
Lord forgive us for all those times we have tuned out the evening news programmes or skimmed over the newspapers because we have become hardened to stories of war and conflict, to suffering and distress.
We are familiar with stories of hunger and homelessness, unmoved by images of desolation, accepting of tented cities housing refugees and resigned to places of beauty being raised to rubble.
God forgive us that we can so easily dismiss injustice, inequality and racism, that we can so easily distance ourselves from brothers and sisters in Christ who look to us for help.
Break our hearts as yours is broken for all your children who suffer today.
Show us, who live in comfort, that the needs we see around the world meet us on our doorsteps too.
And, as our hearts are broken, may we respond with love and compassion, giving of ourselves as you gave.
Send your Spirit now on this bread and this cup. 
As we break this bread, may we remember your broken body and our broken world.
As we share the cup, may we remember your blood poured out for us along with the bloodshed throughout our world today.
And, in our remembering, may we be broken and poured out to serve the world in which we live, the world, near and far, that you call us to love and to serve.
For then we will truly remember you.

This is the body of Christ broken for you and for all humankind.
Take, eat and remember in love.

This is the cup of salvation, Christ's blood shed that we might know a new relationship with God.
Drink this to remember the promise.

Prayer after communion
Lord Jesus we have remembered you at your table, sharing in your broken body and blood shed for us. May these symbols of everlasting love shatter and inspire us so that we cannot be the same but are moved to share your love until it hurts with all your children throughout the world.
Nourished by your gifts to us, may we see clearly how and where you want us to serve you in the world and, in the strength of your love may we truly love one another by serving one another in the name of the One who created us, who redeems us and who sends us out into all the world.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful - do you all have communion every Sunday? (This Kelly Moore by the way)