a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

communion: feasting on the word

The Lord be with you!
And also with you!
Lift up your hearts!
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give both thanks and praise!

all sing verse 1:
Come, thou Fount of every blessing; tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of God’s unchanging love!

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for your grace overflows in your world,
creating and redeeming and sustaining all things.
Your streams of mercy flow from your glory
bringing living water into every place,
nourishing creation, making it bear fruit that will last,
filling our cup until it runs over, spilling out abundant life.
We give you thanks for your generous providing,
and for your call to be your people.
We have wandered in the desert, we have turned our backs,
we have followed the path, we have walked on ahead,
and still your Spirit calls us, tugging us back to your way,
shining your light and singing your grace
so we might follow in faith.

all sing verse 2:
Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.

It is with gratitude, praise, and hearts lifted high that we come to your table,
calling to mind your Son who walked among us,
who ate with sinners and tax collectors and women
the same as he ate with Pharisees and disciples and neighbors.
As he reached out to touch the sick, may we reach out with healing hands.
As he went to the bad neighborhoods and visited the homes of the poor,
may we go out to where your people long for good news.
As he spread health and holiness with every step, every word, every breath,
may we live as if grace is contagious,
sharing your love with people near and far,
those we meet and those we would rather avoid.

As we meet at the feast of your family, O God,
we carry with us those who hunger and thirst,
who cannot imagine the abundance of this table,
who feel excluded or forgotten,
who live with fear and violence,
who wait for justice, who long for peace,
who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.
While we celebrate this day, some in your family see no cause for celebration.
While we have feasted on your word,
some still see reading as an impossible luxury.
While we have learned and spoken and prayed together,
some have been silenced and held aside.
When we break bread together, break our hearts too,
and then by your Spirit bind us together with all your people
to seek your purpose and work your will.
Give us a glimpse of your kingdom, where the whole human family eats together,
and strengthen us with the courage to build your kingdom here on earth.

all sing verse 3:
O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.

We offer our hearts and lives to you, O God,
praying that you would use grain and grape
to write your covenant of love within us.
until grace overflows.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, host at this and every table, who taught us to pray together… the Lord’s Prayer

 

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

CTW: do you want to be healed?

Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but there’s too many problems just seems so hopeless
Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but I don’t want to do the work
Do you want to be healed?
Yes, but someone always seems to be blocking my way
Let us worship the one who makes the path straight, the mountains low, and the valleys high.

Submitted by Rev. Shannon Meacham, Ashland Presbyterian Church, Cockeysville MD

confession: obedience, courage, faith

One:    Loving God, you offer us your whole self, and ask us to trust and obey.
All:     We confess that sometimes it is hard to trust and hard to walk your path.
When we ignore your call and follow our own way instead, forgive us.
One:    Lord Jesus, you offer us not just healing, but wholeness.
All:     We confess that we’re often not interested in that inner work, only in just enough to continue on our way without facing those things that keep us from you.
When we allow fear to rule, rather than standing up with courage, forgive us.
One:    Holy Spirit, you bring new life into every place.
We confess that sometimes we like things just the way they are, and the newness is scary.
When we insist on seeing before believing, forgive us.
One:    Holy God, fill us again with your grace, your hope, your peace,
All:     and help us to be your faithful people in the world.

~silence~

One:    We pray in the name of the One who disrupts the world with love, Jesus the Christ.
All:     Amen.

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

confession: when we don’t want to get up

Loving and patient God,
forgive us when we don’t want to get up,
when we would rather hide under our covers of fear and security,
when we wait for others to help
and turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to your call,
when we refuse to respond because we are afraid that we might succeed.
Forgive us and make us new.
Give us the strength to take the gifts that we have been given and use them for your glory.
Lift us off our mats of brokenness, and help us walk in the light.

 

through the water to the table: a communion prayer for Easter 6C

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for you are the One who creates and the One who calls.
Through the waters you have called your people,
through the waters you have redeemed
and through the waters you have made holy.
When we lost our way or turned away,
the sound of your voice was as mighty and sweet
as a river making its way through the wilderness.
And so with give you thanks,
for you have been our guide and our sustenance.
We give you thanks for your Son, Jesus the Christ,
who is living water and living bread,
and who gathers us all around his table
that we might learn to be like him,
broken and poured out for the world you so love.
Call to us again through this bread and wine, O Lord.
Open our ears to the cries of your world in need,
to the joy and the pain of our neighbors,
to the hope and the despair of a world that cannot find peace,
to the longing and the grief of those who suffer.
May our hearts break for what breaks yours,
and may we heed your call to be your hands and feet.
We listen.

As we come to this feast,
as we seek you in these ordinary things of life,
fill this meal and this fellowship with your Spirit.
Create again, O God, the body of Christ,
made whole through brokenness,
love pouring through the cracks.
We pray in the name of the One who heard and obeyed,
even to the cross and even to the empty tomb,
Jesus the Christ, who taught us to pray together…

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

prayer: bearers of glory

One:            God, your creation displays your wonders all around us;
All:            help us to see you at work wherever we look.
One:            You call us to show forth your glory—
All:            help us to reflect your image in the world.
One:            Your light shines, and the darkness cannot overcome it;
All:            make us bearers of your word, your love, your light. Amen.

 

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