I am your message, Lord. Throw me like a blazing torch into the night, that all may see and understand what it means to be a disciple.
St. Maria Skobtsova
Orthodox nun and martyr (1891-1945)
CALL TO WORSHIP
Arise, shine, for you are the light of the world!
In us, the Word becomes flesh,
a message to the world of God’s love
Arise, shine, for you are a lamp in the darkness!
In us, the Good News becomes real,
a beacon of hope in a hurting world.
Arise, shine, for you are members of the body of Christ!
Glowing, burning, radiant Spirit,
throw us like a blazing torch into the night,
lighting the path toward justice and peace.
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Holy One, your light has come into the world
and your glory has risen upon us.
So often we choose to hide in darkness
or to bask in your glory by ourselves,
instead of carrying your light into the world.
You have called us by name
and given us spiritual gifts for the common good,
but we doubt our gifts and keep them to ourselves.
We try to fight evil in the world,
instead of confronting it within ourselves
and shining your light outward.
You tell us to listen to your Son,
who sends us to proclaim your Good News
and bring healing love to the people we meet.
We have not loved you with our whole heart.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Christ removes the darkness from our hearts
so that we can spread the light.
By the power of the Holy Spirit
we are forgiven and are being transformed.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
PRAYER OF DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT
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.
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 maker of darkness and light,
we give you thanks
for the blazing light of your love for us
which will not be snuffed out,
and which illumines the way in a dark world.
We thank you for your son Jesus,
your promised one, light in our darkness,
who calls us through the death of all we know
and into new life in his body.
Holy redeemer of all humanity,
we give you thanks
for your child, Jesus,
who offers us a new vision for each of our lives.
Holy gatherer of lonely wanderers,
we give you thanks
for your church, that fragile human vessel
in which we learn to be your disciples.
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 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 a broken 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.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
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.
Take the Word out into the world
to let God’s love shine through you
as a beacon of hope.
Together with others on the way with Christ
we can join our lights into a blaze of love,
brightening a path toward peace.