Lenten Communion Liturgy II

Jesus gathered his followers together round a table and they ate the Passover meal as a family, not related by blood but by faith. Each person there brought to the gathering talents and growing edges. They had hopes and dreams, disappointments, and fears. Sometimes they all got along, and sometimes they didn’t, but they were bound together by their love and belief in Jesus.

Look around you…today we are the family Jesus has gathered together for this meal. We are the people who bring all that we are, and all that we hope to be, to the table. We are brothers and sisters by faith, the Body of Christ, children of God. We have all received Jesus’ invitation to share the bread and cup so Come! Eat! and know that we have found a common home and family in Jesus Christ.

Hymn “Who Is My Mother, Who Is My Brother” BH#2225 v.1
Who is my mother, who is my brother?
all those who gather round Jesus Christ:
Spirit-blown people, born from the Gospel
sit at the table, round Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Confession
Dearest Lord, we come to this table bringing all parts of ourselves: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We confess that we are not perfect. We carry within us both goodness and shame, compassion and contempt, holiness and idolatry. We lay the worst parts of ourselves at your feet and ask for forgiveness. Fashion for us an open and loving heart, an unbiased mind, and a willing spirit. Widen our circle to include all of your people, even those we do not like, we do not understand, or we do not agree with. Transform our stubbornness, unclench our fists, and give us the eyes and heart of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, forgives you and reminds you of his love.

Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, forgives you and reminds you of his love.

Hymn “Who Is My Mother, Who Is My Brother” BH#2225 v.2
Differently abled, differently labeled
widen the circle round Jesus Christ:
Crutches and stigmas, cultures’ enigmas
all come together round Jesus Christ.

In the beginning, God took a blank canvas
and painted our world.
Light filled the universe; colors streamed out:
the blues of the sky and water, the greens of the
trees and grass, the yellow of the sun, and reds,
purples, oranges, and every color in-between of
the flowers.
People whose skin reflected every hue filled the earth,
our beautiful, amazing, wondrous
God-given home.

“Dominion…over every living thing that moves upon the earth”
was given to men and women by God. We now had
responsibility for the future of our planet and everything
that inhabited it, including each other.
God’s hope for this future was for us to make a
heaven on earth:
a place of harmony and peace,
equity and compassion,
tolerance and positive regard,
a home that was safe for all its creatures.

But humans, with a taste of both good and evil in our mouths,
made homes for our own pleasure.
“Mine, mine, mine!!”
became our cry and our greed and selfish desires overshadowed
God’s kingdom and the needs of our planet as well as our neighbors,
both human and non-human.
And so God swept the earth clean and life began again
with a rainbow and a promise.
Two by two new homes were made,
a new earth was born, and God
crossed God’s fingers.

Despite God’s best efforts through men and women,
prophets and kings, however,
human failings made necessary God’s most
heart-felt intervention:
Jesus Christ was born,
God’s own Son, sent to resurrect the original vision
of God’s peaceable Kingdom.

Hymn “Who Is My Mother, Who Is My Brother” BH#2225 v.3
Love will relate us –
color or status can’t segregate us,
round Jesus Christ:
Family failings, human derailings
all are accepted, round Jesus Christ.

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.

Jesus came as teacher, full of stories and lessons
meant to change our ways.
Jesus came as prophet, to testify to the truth of
God’s love and presence in our lives.
Jesus came as a revolutionary, eager to challenge
the thinking and practices of the leaders.
Jesus came as a man: a man who ate and drank
with the outcasts, who loved and forgave his enemies,
and who suffered and died an excruciating death
on a cross.

But Jesus left us gifts to help us through the ordinary
and the extraordinary.
His spirit lives within us, guiding, comforting, challenging,
forgiving, and loving us each moment of every day.
His life example inspires us to live the life he lived
even when it seems difficult and sometimes impossible.
And he gave us this meal we are about to eat:
a reminder of his love, his faithfulness, his hope
for our salvation, and his wish that we serve each other
the bread and cup as a covenant to the community that
binds us to him.

We offer 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.

Hymn “Who Is My Mother, Who Is My Brother” BH#2225 v.4
Bound by one vision, met for one mission
we claim each other, round Jesus Christ:
Here is my mother, here is my brother,
kindred in Spirit, through Jesus Christ.

So we take this bread and juice,
Jesus’ body and blood,
into our own bodies, hearts, and minds.
May these elements change our thinking
and way of relating to each other,
to our family and friends,
and most of all, to those we have
difficulty relating at all.
As Jesus has made a home in us,
let us make a loving and nurturing
home for others.

(Consecration and serving of the elements – consider having the members of the congregation serve each other)

Prayer of Thanksgiving
We are grateful, Lord, for this food of your body and spirit, reminding us of your deep love of us and your desire that we live in harmony and peace with our neighbors. Show us the way as your people to make our church a home for those who need love, attention, nurturing, and a sense of belonging. Break open our hearts and extinguish any resistance we might have so all will truly be welcome as one of our family. Encircle this family as well as all the families of our community, nation, and world so that every person might feel safe and cared for. We ask all these things in the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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