Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Communion Liturgy Using Covenant Imagery

We Invite All to the Table
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
for they shall be filled.
The God who promises life, and that in abundance, invites us to the table.
Where we share in the abundance of life, where we practise living in the Kingdom of God.
This table is God's Table. This table is open to all who seek to follow God's Way, to live as people of the Promise.
Here we meet friend and stranger, and recognize all as family.
Come and taste the grace eternal, come and see that God is good.

We Give Thanks to God
Children of God, lift up your hearts.
Our hearts are lifted by God's Spirit in our midst.
Inheritors of the Promise, sing songs of thanks.
We sing our praises for what God has done in our midst.
Partners in the Covenant, open your souls.
To feel God moving among and within us, strengthening us to live out the covenant of life

God of the Promise, from the beginning you have lived in relationship with your Creation.
Walking in the primeval garden with Adam and Eve, speaking with their children and grandchildren.
And as that relationship developed you made covenants, agreements about how we would live together.
Promises made on both sides so that life would flourish as you hoped.

And so we remember Noah and the rainbow
Your sign that the world would not be washed away again, your reminder that we live in relationship.
And we remember Abraham,
The promise of land, of a mighty people, of a blessing to the world.
And we remember Moses on the mountain,
Where you renewed your relationship with your people, laying out a way they should live with each other, with their neighbours, and with you.

As time went on, your people, your beloved children, did not remain faithful to the covenant.
They forgot their promises, they did not live up to their side of the deal.
But you remained faithful, you continued to hold up the possibility of the Promise, of the Covenant.
And so you sent prophets and messengers, faithful men and women who reminded their neighbours about the Covenant and call them back to the path of wisdom.
But still the people moved from the path, and so you chose a new path, a New Covenant.
One that would not be shown by a bow in the clouds, or by a new land, or by laws and rules.
This Covenant would be written on the hearts and souls of your people.

To begin this covenant you chose a young woman in a small town, Mary of Nazareth.
In her womb grew a child, who would be named Jesus.
In his adulthood he would share the wonders of your love, the glory of your forgiveness, the possibility of your Reign.
He would invite his friends and all who would follow them, including us, to participate in the New Covenant of Life and Love. As participants in the community of the faithful we echo the ancient cry:
Holy, holy, holy God. source of power and light.
Blessed is the one who comes in your name.
Hosanna in the highest!

We Remember the Story
As it would happen, the world was not ready for the message of Jesus.
As he shared your vision and hope he challenged the way the world already operated,
Which led those with power to move against him.
He was arrested, tried, and executed.
But that was not the end of the story, or of the New Covenant.
You raised him, breaking the bonds of death, shattering the powers of the world.

We remember that on the night before his death Jesus shared the feast of liberation with his friends. At that table he took bread, blessed it, broke it, and passed it to them saying:
Take, eat, this is my body broken for you.
Then he took the cup of wine, blessed it and passed it to them saying:
Take and drink, this is the cup of the new covenant. Whenever you eat and drink, remember me.

We do remember. And as we remember we also remember the promise Jesus gave,
the promise of a Comforter, of the Spirit, to sustain us always.
Pour out that Spirit upon and among us God.
May the Spirit move in this loaf and cup, in the sharing of this meal,
transforming them, transforming us.
And when our gathering is ended,
Send us out with the fire of the Spirit in our souls, ready to live out the Covenant of Life and Love with all we meet, wherever we go.

These things we pray in the name of Jesus, whose life, death, resurrection and passion write the words of the New Covenant on our hearts and souls, and who taught his friends to pray together saying...
Our Father who art in heaven...

We Break and Pour and Share
The Bread we share is the bread of Life.
The Cup we share is the Cup of the New Covenant
These are signs of the Promise, from the God who gives us the Promise
Thanks be to God.

We Pray After the Sharing
God of the rainbow, God of the promise, God of the table;
we have broken the bread and shared the cup. We have tasted your goodness. We have shared the meal that ties us to each other and to you.
God of the past, the present and the future;
you have been faithful, you are faithful, you will be faithful. You will live out the covenant of life. May we who have shared this meal, we who gather in community, be transformed by our gathering and our sharing, so that we too will live out the covenant of life. Amen.

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