Monday, September 19, 2016

Communion for October 2, 2016 -- Worldwide Communion Sunday, Story of the Passover

Note: Dayeinu is a Hebrew word meaning ‘enough’ it is pronounced Die-yea-noo

INVITATION
It is the season of harvest, the grain which once was scattered on the fields is now being gathered in.
Today the people of God gather from all corners of the earth to gather at tables like this.
Here at this table we take part in the feast of faith.
Here we share the meal that unites us with all the followers of The Way.
This is God’s table, God is the host,
and so all who seek to follow the Way of Jesus Christ are welcome to eat and drink.
Come and taste the grace eternal, come and see that God is good.

GREAT THANKSGIVING
God is here
Blowing among us with the breath of life.
God is here
And we place our hearts in God’s hands.
Let us give thanks
Thanks to God who frees us from our chains.

Creator God, Source of Life,
You spoke into the chaos and brought order, into the darkness and brought light, into the void and brought life.
If that was all you had done, given us life and this earth
Dayeinu, that would have been enough. But you did more.

Then you called your people out of slavery,
you formed a covenant with them, gave them rules and guidelines about how they should live with each other and with you.
If that was all you did, bring forth freedom and community
Dayeinu, that would have been enough. But you did more.

But your people did not fulfill their side of the covenant,
they went astray, wandering from the path of wisdom and faithfulness. In response you sent messengers, men and women to remind them what life could be, who they could be.
If that was the end of your work,
Dayeinu, that would have been enough. But you did more.

Eventually, in the fullness of time, you tried a new path.
You spoke to the woman Mary, promising her a son,
a child who would teach in word and action about the depth and breadth of your love;
a man who would reshape the understanding of what it meant to be faithful to the covenant;
a teacher who would transform the lives of his followers.

In this child, this teacher, this man, Jesus of Nazareth, we realized we had met God in human clothing.
However we were not ready for his message.
And he was arrested, tried and convicted.
To show the depth of his love and commitment he allowed himself to be executed, put to death on a cross.
If that was the end of the story,
Dayeinu, that would have been enough.But you did more.

You raised Jesus, you broke the bondage of death, you continue to set us free from those things that would enslave us.
So it is that we continue to gather at this table to sing songs of thanksgiving, joining our voices to the voices of ages saying:
Holy holy holy are you, Lord of Creation
Blessed is the One who comes in your name.

As we gather at this table we remember the night before Jesus was arrested.
We remember that he gathered with his closest friends to share the meal of faith and freedom.
There, in an upper room, he took bread, blessed it, broke it, and passed it to them saying:
This is my Body, broken by and for the world. Take it, eat it, and remember.
Then he took a cup of goo wine, blessed it and passed it to them saying:
This is the cup of the New Covenant, sealed in my blood. Take, drink, and remember.
Remembering his life, death and resurrection, committing ourselves to follow The Way of love he taught, and anxiously awaiting the coming Kingdom of love and peace we eat and drink and we remember the great mystery of faith:
Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.

God of life, send your Spirit upon and among us as we gather at this table.
As we break bread together, unite us with the global family of faith.
As we eat and drink awaken the fire of hope in our souls, embolden us to live your love and share your promise with the world around us.
This we pray in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, who we call Christ and Messiah, and who taught us to pray saying...
Our Father, who art in heaven...

FRACTION & DISTRIBUTION
The Bread we share is the bread of freedom.
The Cup we share is the cup of promise.
These are gifts from God for the people of God
Thanks be to God

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
We have eaten, we have drunk, we have tasted God’s goodness.
God of freedom, grant that this meal we have shared today will remind us that in you and your love we are set free.
God of love, grant that in eating and drinking here our hearts are warmed and we are changed, moving us closer to being who we are created to be.
God of community, grant that this meal we share with our sisters and brothers around the globe helps to build a sense of unity and closeness that chases away all fear, mistrust, and hatred. These things we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

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