Friday, 2 June 2017

Listening for other voices, sharing alternative truths

Acts 2:1-4
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Come all of you who are weary of what life lays on you
Come and receive the gifts of God's Spirit
Come all of you whose faith has been diminished
Come and receive the gifts of God's Spirit
Come all of you who need a shot of transforming love today
God's Spirit meets us here at Christ's table in gifts of bread and wine
And all are invited to feast on the life changing gifts of God.

Throughout his ministry, our Lord Jesus, lifted up the weary, healed the sick, bound up the broken hearted and brought new life to all.
As he shared a last meal with his disciples, he spoke to them again of the meaning of death and resurrection so that, in the days to come, they might make sense of all that was happening.
He took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to them, saying:
This is my body, broken for you. Do this to remember me.
He also took the cup and said: This is the new realtionship with God, made possible because of my death. Drink it all of you in remembrance of me.
It was much later, long after the Spirit came, before the disciples understood Jesus' words of life.
And still, today, we struggle to understand all the gifts of God.
And yet, in obedience and faith, we do this to remember him.

Prayer of thanksgiving
O God, in a world so full of alternative facts, help us to discern your truth.
In a world so full of bluster and noise, help us make out the clarity of your call.
We thank you for your gifts - gifts that, beyond all hope, have remained - your faithfulness, your love, your newness of life, your empowering Spirit.
As world powers attempt to divide and diminish, may we remain strong in your love, assured of what is right and just and reminded that your will for all people is good.
May we trust in your power to overcome evil, your love to drive out fear and your goodness to restore all creation by a just and equal sharing of all the earth's resources. And, believing, may we be prompted to act by the power of your Spirit working in us.
May we know those tongues of fire descending on our hearts and lives, empowering us not just to speak but also to listen and understand the voices of others in whom your Spirit rests.
And, as we gather at this table, may we bring with us all our brothers and sisters, the living and departed, the prosperous and the downtrodden, the powerful and the powerless, the seen and the invisible, may we hold space for them as we take our place at this the table of our Risen Lord.
Send your Holy Spirit on us and on those for whom we hold this space and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that all may be transformed. And,  in sharing these everlasting gifts may we know afresh the outpouring of your Spirit causing mayhem in our carefully ordered lives, for the honour and glory of God, Parent, Christ and Holy Spirit.

(Taking bread)
This is the body of Christ, broken for you to transform your brokenness into wholeness and healing.
Do this to remember him.

(Taking the cup)
This is Christ's blood poured out for you that your sins might be forgiven and that you might be restored to oneness with the Triune God who holds all creation in love.
Do this to remember.

Prayer after communion
God you have shared your life with us, may we share our lives with others.
As you have poured your Spirit upon us, may we be renewed from the inside out, may your love bubble up through us until we can no longer remain quiet in the face of hatred and indifference.
In the power of your Spirit may we go from here to change the world, to restore your kingdom here on earth, for the Glory of God.

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