Spring bulbs and summer seeds come to life in the unlit places underground. Costly jewel stones lie embedded in the dark interiors of ordinary rocks. … The dark depths of the ocean teem with life.
Sally Breedlove, Choosing Rest: Cultivating a Sunday Heart in a Monday World, p. 133
CALL TO WORSHIP
Sound a trumpet, clap your hands, sing a new song:
the time of jubilee has arrived.
We seek the treasures of darkness,
the riches hidden in secret places.
Let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
We are called to be like trees
planted by streams of water,
yielding good fruit in every season.
Proclaim liberty throughout the world,
release to the captives,
and freedom to all who are oppressed.
We are called to love God with all our heart,
with all our soul, and with all our mind,
and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Holy One, the secret places
seem more like places for us to hide
than sources of treasure.
Sometimes the unlit places are terrifying,
harboring fear and oppression rather than treasure.
We confess our selfishness,
our unwillingness to share the treasures
we have been given.
Hear us now and forgive us,
when we are afraid there will never be enough.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
The Holy One knows our fears and weaknesses,
and gives us the freedom of abundance.
THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
INTERCESSION AND PETITION
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.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise God all creatures here below,
Praise God above, you heavenly host,
Creator, Christ, and Holy Ghost.
This is the table of the Heavenly Feast,
the joyful celebration of the people of God.
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;
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.
Holy Liberator who proclaims the jubilee,
we thank you for your insistent call
to justice and peace.
We give thanks for Jesus,
who by his life, death, and resurrection,
opened the dark places where treasure is found.
We give thanks for the Holy Spirit,
who gives us joy
even in the midst of pain and sadness.
We are grateful for your Church, the body of Christ,
called to incarnate your justice and peace.
BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
On the night he gave himself up, 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.
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.
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. The crackers are gluten-free.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
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. Amen.
Filled with thanksgiving for the faith
that gives us vision in dark times,
let us sow seeds of justice and mercy
with abundance and joy,
in this jubilee season!
In the name of God who loves us,
Jesus who redeems us,
and the Holy Spirit who sustains us,
let us greet one another
with signs of peace.