Word About Life for Today ~ Rev. Ken Heintzelman
To eat and drink together reminds us of the deeper aspects of human fellowship, for from time immemorial the sharing of bread and wine has been the most universal of all symbols of community.
We are many and diverse but we share at one table with love and generosity! No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey you are welcome. When we share like this we are revealing and communing with the true Heart of Creation.
Celebrating Community With One Table
One: Our celebration of life and love continues with our sharing of bread and cup. When Jesus gathered with his friends to tell them of a re-imagined way of living and being, the conversations often went on into the time for a meal. Jesus ate and conversed with the high and mighty, with the pious and self-righteous, and with those considered outcasts and sinners.
All: His table fellowship included everyone. He often told them stories that caused them to wonder and ask questions.
One: He also welcomed these opportunities to eat with those who disagreed with him and engaged them in open discussion.
All: In this way, the issues of life and death, justice and injustice, conflict and peace, goodness and evil, were talked through and made real to ordinary people.
One: Jesus used the meal as a demonstration of his teaching. He urged his followers to include a wide variety of people in what he called the realm of God. We are here to carry on this tradition of seeking for truth and recognizing goodness wherever they may be found. To this end, everyone is invited and encouraged to share in this symbolic meal.
Prayer of Invitation and Words of Institution
Shared by Rev. Ken Heintzelman
On the night when Jesus was betrayed, He gathered with his disciples in the upper room to share a meal.
At this table, Jesus broke bread with those who would betray him. At this table, Jesus drank wine with the one who denied him. At this table, Jesus communed with those who would abandon him. At this table, Jesus gave a new commandment.
At this table, we learn to love one another as God loves us.
At this table we sit at the table of God.
Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, gave it to his disciples, and said: “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
When the supper was over, Jesus took the cup, gave thanks, gave it to his disciples, and said: “Drink from this, all of you. This is the cup of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness from our failings and hope for the new life to come. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.
And so, in remembrance of these God’s mighty acts in Jesus, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us.
We proclaim the mystery of faith: “Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.”
Pour out your Spirit upon these gifts of bread and wine that they might be for us the presence of the living Christ, through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit and the bond of peace.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Shared by Michael Curry
Divine Presence in all of life, we give thanks that we have gathered together in this sacred place. We rejoice in the giftedness of each person here. We are grateful for who we are for each other. May we continue to be truly thankful in all we do and in all we become. Amen.
Words for Mission
One: Let us walk gently this week, giving and receiving freely.
All: We are part of Creation, part of the sacrament of care poured out for all.
One: These are the times.
All: We are the people.
One: All of Creation is blessed.
All: May we love all and serve all.
One: May God be with you.
All: And also with you.
Sending Forth ~ "We Are the Family"
We are the family and we are the home,
We are the mountain where love can be known.
We are the voices and we are the hands
For bringing peace to our land.
And in our family all are welcome,
Doesn’t matter who you are,
In our home there’s always room
So plan to stay.
On our mountain where we labor
There’s much work that’s left to do,
And your talents would be helpful if you stay.