So may we know
that is not just
but for this day—
in this moment
that opens to us:
hope not made
but of substance,
hope made of sinew
hope that has breath
and a beating heart,
hope that will not
and be polite,
hope that knows
how to holler
when it is called for,
hope that knows
how to sing
when there seems
hope that raises us
from the dead—
but this day,
Jan Richardson, The Cure for Sorrow. P 163
Find other resources by Jan Richardson at https://www.janrichardson.com,
Used by permission
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: In the beginning of all things,
God created order out of disorder, cosmos out of chaos.
People: God spoke, and there was light.
Leader: Hope is not only for long ago or for someday,
but for this day, opening to us here, now, in this radiant moment.
People: Hope is not made of wishes but of substance.
It is God’s Holy Word dwelling among us in human beings.
Leader: Hope knows how to raise its voice when necessary,
how to sing when things seem hopeless.
People: In the radiant glory of hope,
God’s Holy Spirit is transforming the world.
Leader: Holy Fountain of Radiant Hope,
we look for the hope that raises us from the dead,
People: We allow our fears and anxieties
to blind us to your radiant hope,
paralyzing us from being the muscle, sinew, and bone of your body.
Leader: We try to satisfy our longings with wishes
rather than acting as your body on earth.
All: Forgive us, Holy Wellspring of Life and Love,
when we refuse to accept your hope and offer it to others
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The living, breathing hope that we are promised
will not keep quiet and be polite.
God forgives us and encourages us with radiant hope.
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 1: Holy Eternal Beacon of Radiant Hope,
we are thankful for your loving presence in our world,
People: We celebrate your fiery, creativity flowing among us,
the Holy Spirit shining through us,
singing out when there seems little cause,
calling all creation toward deeper understanding.
Leader 2: We are thankful for the light of Christ
igniting our emerging sense of call and ministry,
and lighting new paths to loving compassion.
People: Our life together shines more brightly
as we join our hearts and souls within your Church,
becoming muscle, sinew, nerve, and bone,
the body where we carry your presence among us.
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 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.
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 grain and grape,
and work of human hands
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
Please use what you have at home as you eat the bread and drink from the cup today.
If you do not have grape juice, use whatever is convenient.
As a sign of gathering in spirit while scattered, you may want to lift your bread toward your camera as we break bread together.
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. Amen.
Leader: As God’s Holy Word is in us
and the transformative power
of the Holy Spirit is revealed among us,
let us go forth,
sustained and encouraged by radiant hope,
greeting everyone with signs of peace.