See the home of God is among mortals. This morning your dog licked your face, you had a hot cup of coffee, and you drank it in a warm kitchen. …This month, you needed comfort and were comforted. …This month, this year, you celebrated however many years of sobriety, or cancer remission, or parenthood, or single parenthood: this month, this year, you celebrated the day your life began again. …This month you forgave—truly forgave—an enemy, and a weight was lifted off of your chest. …This week you were forgiven again when you didn’t deserve it. …This year you loved with wild abandon, not worrying about what that would mean for your future broken heart. …Yesterday you watched people who came to lift the rubble in Haiti, to care for the dead, to comfort the mourners. An ecosystem of love built among destruction. See the home of God is among mortals.
— adapted from Robin Bartlett “The Home of God is Among Mortals” at The Message, October 9, 2016,
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Look around you!
See, the home of God is here on earth.
People: We see people helping one another,
putting out wildfires,
caring for the sick,
feeding the hungry.
Leader: Hear the good news!
The home of God is all around us.
People: We hear of people restoring coral reefs,
saving forests from destruction.
Leader: We are held in a great web of love.
All: We worship the One who is at home
among us, around us, and within us.
Leader: O Holy One, we want to know
that you are present with us
at every level of our being,
People: and yet, the chaos of pain and need
drowns out the quiet love of your forgiveness.
Leader: When we choose to look around with gratitude
we see kindness and compassion
flowing from your fount of every blessing
into that pain and need,
People: and yet the overflowing hospitals,
mass graveyards, ruined neighborhoods, and fiery forests
too often blind us to your loving presence in our midst.
Leader: O God, you are around us, and among us, and within us
even when we get lost in pain and need.
All: Forgive us when we let the chaos
blind us to your presence.
among us, around us, and within us.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: The Holy One is at home among us.
We are forgiven,
and called to let the love of God flow through us.
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 One, we give thanks and praise to you,
who made heaven and earth and all that is in them,
and built your home among us.
People: We give you thanks for Jesus, the Human One,
whom you sent to live with us
and teach us how to love you with all that we are,
and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Leader 2: We give you thanks for your Holy Spirit,
who breathes into us the power to live in your kindom,
leaving all behind to follow you in love and service to all.
All: We give you thanks for your Holy Church,
where we celebrate and mourn,
forgive and receive forgiveness,
and practice love amid the chaos.
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: Knowing that God is at home among us,
let us go into the world
offering comfort and compassion to those in need,
and greeting all we meet with signs of peace.