Still a light shines, and the darkness does not overcome it.
At this table, Christ is revealed in the ordinariness of life—
as once he was revealed in a child playing in his neighborhood,
a child trusting his parents to keep him safe,
now he is revealed in a meal shared among the family of God,
simple bread and wine, the stuff of life handed down from generation to generation.
It is here, at Christ’s table, where brokenness leads to wholeness.
It is here, at Christ’s table, where cracks allow light to shine forth.
It is here, at Christ’s table, where we see him most clearly,
and where we are given eyes to see him at every table.
This is not a feast for Presbyterians, this table does not belong to the church—
this is the joyful feast of the people of God,
and it is Christ himself who invites you, all of you,
to come, eat, drink, and see.
Let us pray.
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for your star shines still in the night sky,
guiding your people in paths of love and justice.
In the beginning, you brought light into darkness,
and created a people to reflect your glory.
When we have lost our way or turned away,
you shone the light all the brighter,
calling us through the words of prophets
and even in the life of your Son,
who was born as we are born, breathed and ate and walked and lived as we do,
who not only revealed your way
but is the way.
And even now, your Spirit burns like flame
in our hearts
in the community
in your word
at this table.
As we come, drawn to the warmth and wonder,
we pray for your light to shine gently on those wounded places of our hearts,
for we carry burdens of shame, of hurt, of grief, of fear.
We carry a world crying out, longing for relief.
We see violence and hatred, apathy and disgust, power misused and people treated as disposable.
Give us courage to stand and see, to refuse to be consoled,
until your creation is healed by the hot light of your justice.
When we shade our eyes against the brightness of your way,
help us see what you see.
When we assume the end of the story,
remind us that you, not we, are the author.
When we are tempted to settle into a comfortable routine
of selfishness, hopelessness, or convenience,
awaken us to your new thing,
and make us partners in your creating.
As we break bread together,
may our hearts be broken with yours.
As we who are many are gathered like grain into one body,
may your Spirit knit us together.
As we bring the gifts we have to offer—though they are not gifts fit for a king—
may our hearts be open to receive your gift once again this day,
and may your church be strengthened to be a gift to your world.
As we share the same meal you, Lord, have shared
with disciples, with enemies, with the church through the ages,
may our eyes be opened and may we recognize you.
We pray these and all things in the name of Jesus Emmanuel, God with Us, who taught us to pray together…
~~~after all have been served~~~
We give you thanks, O Lord,
for once again you have filled us with good things—
not just bread and wine, but your very self.
Now may this glimpse of your kingdom sustain us,
and give us eyes to see you at work in every place,
and strength to be your body in the world.
As you have blessed the bread and broken it,
you have blessed us and let light shine through the cracks.
Make us your people, again and again,
light for the world.
In Jesus name. Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL