If I make of my life an offering and a dedication to God, then this dedication will include all my entanglements and involvements. There follows, then, a radical change over my entire landscape and miraculously I am free at my center. It is for this reason that it is well, again and again, to reestablish my dedication, to make repeatedly an offering of my life. I must keep my dedication up to date with my experiencing.
Howard Thurman, “Life, an Offering to God”in The Mood of Christmas and Other Celebrations, pg 71
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Jesus asks us,
Who do you say that I am?
People: We come to discover what it means
to be fully human and fully divine.
Leader: Jesus tells us,
Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.
People: We come to pour out our lives
for the healing of the world.
Leader: Jesus calls us to be servant of all,
to make our lives an offering and dedication to God.
All: We come to become the Body of Christ.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Holy One, you call us to offer to you
all of our entanglements and involvements.
Voice 1: We choose to be selective,
keeping some of our stuff hidden
in the private corners of our lives and psyches.
Voice 2: You call us to radical change
over the full landscape of our lives.
Leader: We choose to tweak the edges,
making adjustments here and there.
Voice 1: You call us to regular recommitment,
to bringing our lives in line with your purpose.
Voice 2: We prefer to linger in the past,
clinging to old addictions,
fearful of the future.
Leader: Hear us, Holy One,
as we cry out from our loneliness and despair.
All: Forgive us and free us
to become agents of your change
and models of your love.
Leader: The Holy One knows our fears and limitations,
even before we speak them.
We are forgiven and loved,
and strengthened to be the body of Christ.
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
INTERCESSION AND PETITION
All: O Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.
We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.
Forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted,
and help us forgive those who have hurt us.
Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with you;
to care for every part of your creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.
We open our hearts to you and your creation
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ. Amen.
Leader 1: This is the table of the Heavenly Feast,
the joyful celebration of the people of God.
Leader 2: We gather now as one body, joined around the table.
Here we celebrate God’s presence among us
united in Christ’s spirit, broken and whole all at once;
All: Nourished and hungry, loved and loving,
sinner and forgiven; we make one circle of knowing,
believing, rejoicing, being,
as God lights and rests among us.
Leader: O God, we thank you
for the depth and breadth of your commitment,
always making all things new.
Voice 1: We give you thanks for the abundant riches of creation
that you spread before us,
a feast for sight and sound and touch and smell,
a taste of heaven already present.
Voice 2: We give you thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit,
flowing freely around us, through us, and among us,
joining us with all your creatures throughout the ages.
All: We give you thanks for the good news in Christ
who models freedom flowing forth from deep commitment as we rededicate ourselves to you.
BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Leader 1: Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Leader 2: Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
Leader 1: On the night of his arrest, Jesus took bread,
and after giving thanks to God, broke it and said,
This is my body,
broken for the healing of the world.
Whenever you eat it, do so remembering me.
Leader 2: After supper, Jesus took the cup and said,
This is the cup of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for all.
Whenever you drink it, do so remembering me.
All: O Holy One, send down your Spirit
that these gifts of bread and cup
may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Unite us with Christ forever
and bring us with the whole creation
to your eternal realm.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
If you do not wish to receive the elements today you are welcome to join the circle and allow them to pass, or remain in your seat. We serve grape juice in our cups.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All: God of abundance and mercy,
we give joyful thanks
for your eternal love and healing presence
in our celebration of bread and cup.
Bless this body of Christ
that we may attend faithfully
to our call to be your servants,
with each other and throughout the world.
Leader: Let us go forhth with joy
and renewed intention to hear God’s call,
offering and dedicating ourselves as co-creators with the Holy Creator.
Centered in freedom through Jesus the Christ,
and guided, moment by moment, in the Spirit’s path,
let us greet one another with signs of peace.