Joel 2:12-13, 28-29
Yet even now, says the Lord,
return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
rend your hearts and not your clothing.
Return to the Lord, your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love,
and relents from punishing.
God’s Spirit Poured Out
I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
Come to this table all you who dream
and you who plan
You who have visions
and you who like cold, hard facts
Come to this table where God invites you
to know grace and mercy and love
served up in bread and wine
God came in Jesus
to reveal the signs all around
of a different way of living
A way in which we each honour one another
A way in which we love each other
A way in which we make space for the other
Jesus used ordinary things around him
to show us the way of love.
The night he was betrayed,
He gathered his daiciples around him
and shared supper with them
teaching them, even in that last meal
lessons in love.
Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and shared it, saying,
This is my body, broken for you
He took wine and passed it around his disciples,
a new relationship with God made possible
And said: Do this to remember me.
As we follow Jesus' example here today, let us first give thanks.
Prayer of Thanksgivng
God we thank you that, in Jesus, you showed us
that the kingdom of heaven is near
His birth, his life and death, his rising to life
brings hope - not for some distant world of justice and peace
but for our ability, with God's grace, to know the world we long for
the world you long to see for all your people, here and now.
And so as we take these ordinary gifts of bread and wine
that you make special
may we know that you take our gifts too
and use them to make a difference in our world.
So, this Advent, we offer you our hands and our feet
our voices and our intellects
our everyday work and pursuits
asking you to transform all that we offer
in the work of your kingdom
that transforms the world around.
Give us insight and inkling, resolve and direction
to see your kingdom come
bringing life and light in every darkness
and joy and peace in every corner of the world.
Send your Spirit on us and on these gifts of bread and wine
that as we share communion with God and with one another
we may know love born anew in us
and peace that passes all understanding.
This bread is a symbol of the life of the kingdom
Take, eat and live out incarnation
This wine is a symbol of the possibility of relationship
with God and our neighbour
Drink it resolving to repair division
We do this to remember Jesus
Prayer after communion
God you have fed us with the bread of life
May we go and enhance life for others
You have allowed us to drink of the wine of the new kingdom
May we herald in that kingdom in this place today
And, in every encounter we have in the world
may we live out God with us today and always.