L: May the Lord of Lent be with you.
P: May the Lord of Lent also be with you.
L: God’s people: lift up your hearts.
P: We lift our hearts to the One who has
engraved them with love.
L: God’s people: offer thanks to the One
who creates new life in you.
P: With our lips, and with our lives, we
will praise the God who sustains our spirits.
Hearts overflow with joy,
Maker of covenants,
as we lift our songs to you.
In the midst of that creation
filled with bright stars and blue skies,
you shaped us in your divine image.
Cradling our hearts in compassion,
you planted those seeds of hope and joy
which could bring us the life you envisioned.
But we hardened our hearts,
preventing them from blossoming,
and we chose to live in the shadows of sin,
rather than dance in the light of your grace.
Yet even our arrogance and anger
could not keep you from loving us,
as you called to us through prophets’ voices,
inviting us to come back to your side.
And when we continued to love our way more,
your steadfast love became even more abundant
as you sent Jesus to restore our brokenness.
Therefore, we will join with all those
of every age and every place,
our mouths singing your praise:
P: Holy, holy, holy! God of compassion and grace!
Heaven and earth overflow with your goodness.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the One who comes with a willing spirit.
Hosanna in the highest.
Only you are holy, Engraver of our hearts,
and blessed is the Lord of Life, Jesus Christ.
Your Beloved, he was baptized
and chosen by you to share our life.
He came, to melt our frozen hearts
with the warmth of your mercy.
He came, to be broken
that we might be mended.
He came, to suffer death for our sake,
that seed of new life planted
deep in death’s cold tomb,
so he could be raised to newness,
your glory and hope made known
to all who come seeking him.
Here, at this Table of forgiveness and life,
we remember his life of humility and service,
even as we proclaim that mystery we call faith:
P: The Word that spoke creation into being
has become the Voice which shattered death,
and will call us home at the end of time.
Here at the Table of peace,
we find the gifts you provide,
the bread and the cup drenched
with the Spirit of hope and life.
As we are fed by the bread
created from creation’s goodness,
may the seed of your compassion
which has been planted deep in us,
bloom forth in service to your children.
As we drink from the Cup
which is filled with your righteousness,
may our spirits overflow with justice,
as we bring your good news
and generous presence to all
who are oppressed in our world.
And when, at last, all people are free,
when creation has been restored once more,
when we gather around your Table in glory
with our sisters and brothers from all time,
we will join in singing your praise forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.