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communion: do not be afraid

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for your promise is true, you are with us always, even to the end of the age.
We give you thanks
for in the beginning you created with a word
and the whole world reflects your glory.
We give you thanks,
for with a word you called for yourself a people
gave us your breath, your name, your blessing.
We give you thanks,
for your prophets through the ages
who shared your vision, spoke your truth,
called us to your way even when we turned our backs on you,
our eyes set on our own design.
When we would not listen,
your persistent promise sought us,
your word became flesh
you walked among us and offered your very body, your life and love,
to bring us home in relationship to you.
Even when we acted out of fear,
uncertain what a life based on love could accomplish,
you reached out to save us.
Even when we speak out of fear,
blaming and accusing, shouting without listening,
you whisper your still small voice,
do not be afraid, I am with you.
Gratitude and praise fill our hearts, O God,
and lift us up to your heavenly banquet,
where we join our voices with your people throughout the ages
proclaiming your goodness,
praying for courage to live from your grace.
Open our eyes to see your glory at this table,
and to see that your guest list extends far beyond our own.
Give us courage to enact your kingdom feast at our own tables.
In a world where some thrive on fear,
where profit is often more important than people,
and where violence seems the order of the day,
fill us again with your Spirit of peace.
Let your whisper be heard above the roar
of bombs and bullets
of shouts and jeers
of advertising and posturing.
We carry these burdens to your table, Lord Jesus,
and pray that you would carry the load of your world’s suffering—
hear the cries of those who thirst for clean water and for justice,
of those who speak truth and long for someone to believe them,
of those who look at the week ahead and feel only despair.
Give us hope in the midst of grief, and illness, and political campaigns.
Give us courage to live as if your promise is true.
Give us a sure sense of your abiding presence,
in bread and wine,
in the fellowship of friends and the meeting of strangers,
in the work of your kingdom.
Give us eyes to see and ears to hear your Spirit among us and within us.
Feed us at your table,
fill us with your grace,
and then send us out to be your people,
your body on earth,
overflowing with your hope in the world.
We pray these and all things in the name of Christ, host at this and every table, who taught us to pray together…

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

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