a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

confession: overstuffed

Let us follow the Baptist’s cry
to present ourselves before the Lord,.
to repent of our sins,
and ask for forgiveness,
that we might receive the joy of his salvation.

 

John the Baptist gave us wise advice,
he said “whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none;
and whoever has food must do likewise.”
We confess that we do not always do this.
Our closets are overstuffed and our cabinets overflow
while people around the world freeze and starve.
Help us, gracious God, to share the joy of blessing with others around us.
May we remember that as long as there is one cold person left in the world,
as long as there is one hungry person left in the world,
we still have work to do.  Amen.

 

Hear these words of comfort from the prophet Isaiah:
“Surely God is our salvation; We will trust, and will not be afraid,
for the LORD GOD is our strength and our might; God has become our salvation.”
Friends, God has become our salvation, indeed!
Open yourselves to the joy to be found in our forgiveness;
never more are we to be held captive by that which seeks to tear us from God.
Hear the Good News of the Gospel:  we are forgiven.  Alleluia!  Amen!

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

CTW: God is a baker

One:    God is a baker, providing an abundance that surpasses our hopes,

All:     We come to give praise to the One who feeds and nourishes us with love.

One:    God mixes and kneads, bringing together many to create one.

All:     We come to be re-created, many grains into one loaf, broken for the world.

One:    God is a baker who provides for the hungry, and calls us to do the same.

All:     We come to be strengthened to feed and nourish others.

One:    God offers us the bread of life, mysterious in its brokenness that makes us whole.

All:     We come to worship the Baker who is the Bread of Life.

 

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

Epiphany Communion: We Have Come…

We have come asking for the child —
Wondering where that love might be born,
Seeking that joy that might satisfy our thirst,
Wandering through the darkness of so many mistakes.

We have come to this place where
wisepeople and shepherds and young women met.
We have come to this place called Bethlehem.
To this place where our hearts rise like yeast.
To this place where we meet our newborn hope.
To this place where we taste our deepest joy.
In Bethlehem, where we assumed the worst,
Imagining that no good can come,
We somehow missed its name.

Bethlehem.
Lehem meaning bread.
Bethel meaning house.
There is something here that will satisfy our hunger.
No matter how long we have wandered,
Here our hearts arise. Our light has come.
In this bread and in this cup,
We celebrate something we can’t quite understand.
Because God has made a house at this table.
Because God satisfies our hunger in the most unlikely places.
Because God comes to be with us.
Now and always.

It is with this expectation that we come to the table
to taste and see that God is here.

Let us pray:

Holy Spirit, come into this bread and this cup.
Transform these ordinary objects
As you change our hearts
To shape and form your world
With the joy you promise.
Pour your grace upon us,
so we overflow with your love.
Help us to remember how
An newborn baby might grow
Into a little child that would one day
Turn to his hope-filled friends
In an upper room…

Submitted by Rev. Elsa Peters, the United Churches of Olympia, WA.

confession: until we want no more

Holy Manna, you alone can feed us until we want no more;
yet how often we turn to people or activities or substances to satisfy cravings.
Bread of heaven, you prepare a meal to welcome people from far and near;
yet we decline your invitation, preferring the comfort of familiar tables and food.
Bread of life, you give of yourself to nourish all with abundance;
At times we miss your bounty in our lives and forget how much we can share.
Loving Christ, you promise that all who come to you will never be hungry.
Forgive us when we forget.  May we taste once again and know that you are good, and that your goodness is for us and for all the world.  In your name, Amen.
Silent Prayer 
Assurance of Grace
True abundance does not come because of what we do but because of the Person we know.  Jesus still feeds hungry strangers – even us – and calls us to share food with others.
Thanks be to God.  Let us share God’s bounty.
*Gloria  (to the tune of Holy Manna)
Glory to our Heavenly Maker, glory to the Living Bread;
Glory to the Spirit moving, as each hungry one is fed.
Glory to our God who forgives us, sets us free and makes us new.
God in Christ gives life abundant.  Taste and know it is for you.

Submitted by Rev. Laura Cunningham, Nauraushaun Presbyterian Church, Pearl River, NY