Lenten Communion Liturgy I

The sacrament of Communion is one of those “thin places,” where we might see and know God in a more intimate way. Jesus invited his disciples, just as we are invited in this moment, to “remember” through the sharing of the bread and cup: remember the love poured out for us, remember the sacrifice made for us, and remember the gift of the Spirit given to us. These elements are taken into our bodies, minds, and spirits so we might experience our Creator in new and transformative ways. Everyone is welcome to the table. Come and eat and feel the presence of God!

Confession and Pardon
On this Communion table, O God, I place all that I am. With humility, I acknowledge the me who is gentle and kind, slow to anger, and easy to please. With honesty, I admit to the me who is short-tempered and defensive, wanting my own way, and difficult to please. With true self-reflection, I recognize the me who was not Jesus for my neighbor, refused to be who You made me to be, and ignored Your call to act. For these things and in all the ways I fall short, I am truly sorry. Say the Word, Lord, and your grace and mercy will wash me clean. With Your help, I will choose to have the heart of Jesus and be his hands and feet in my family, my community, and in my world. Amen.

Hear the Good News! Jesus, who knows you and loves you, forgives all your short-comings and embraces you.

Hear the Good News! Jesus, who knows you and loves you, forgives all your short-comings and embraces you.

The Great Thanksgiving
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 our thanks and praise.

In the beginning, God danced through the universe,
bringing light to the darkness, form to the void,
and separating the water
into earth and sky.
Divine life was breathed into the plants and creatures;
Man and Woman received God’s touch and
love was born between the Holy One
and humans.
The Garden held only joy and delight if the
couple surrendered to God’s will for them.

But temptation slithered into their hearts
and the freedom to choice
became their undoing.
Rejected from God’s kingdom,
a life of toil and sweat,
pain and suffering for all of humankind
was the cost of their decision.

And so cast out, but not abandoned by God,
the couple became a family,
and families became clans,
and clans tribes;
People trying to survive amid turmoil, jealousy, and murderous rage.
Time and again humans turned from the way of God
until God destroyed creation by the waters,
save one family.

Noah, listening and obeying God’s instructions,
built an ark, a floating Eden, another chance to
experience God’s kingdom.
Humans are a stubborn lot, however, seeking the goal of their
own happiness and pleasure,
while ignoring the desires of God.
Despite all of God’s attempts to save humanity from themselves,
peace and harmony seemed out of reach
for God’s people.

Never giving up, God became human.
Born into humble beginnings,
God, through Jesus,
experienced the fullness of earthly life.
He knew the glory of a sunset,
the relief of laughter, the deep sorrow of loss,
and the frustration of being misunderstood.
He told stories of compassion, forgiveness, and justice;
he loved his enemies,
ate with sinners,
healed minds, bodies, and souls,
and gave completely of himself
to all who believed in him.

And so,
with your people on earth
and all the company of heaven
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Fear and anger, however, once again stilled the voice of God.
Betrayal put in motion events
that would end the life of this
man of God.
Knowing what was ahead, Jesus gave his
disciples, and all who followed, a gift:
a celebration of remembrance,
a way of experiencing Jesus
in the here and now.

At that first table, Jesus took bread,
the food that had feed so many
during his ministry,
and he broke it, just as his body would
be broken,
and he gave it to his friends, saying,
“Take and eat;
this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”

Then he took the cup,
full of the sweet and sour juice of the vine,
and made the ordinary into the
extraordinary by saying,
“Drink from this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for many for the
forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me.”

At this meal, Jesus surrendered his heart.
In the garden, Jesus surrendered his body.
On the cross, Jesus surrendered his soul.

And now, we surrender ourselves
as a holy and living sacrifice,
in union with Christ,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.

Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.

Through the mystery of faith,
we eat this bread
and drink this juice,
keeping alive the spirit of Jesus
within us,
and remembering his love
poured out for us.

With our Creator God,
our friend, Jesus Christ,
and our Comforter, the Holy Spirit,
We honor the covenant to love
those difficult to love,
to forgive
those difficult to forgive,
and to act with kindness
even when not inclined to do so.

May God’s peace make a home in you
now and forever.

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