Holy Communion - 24th April 2016 - MS BalmoralMay God who dwells beyond us,
God who dwells among us,
God who calls us to dwell together,
bless us now as we gather in worship.
O God we come to celebrate your Spirit, present deep within us
and at the heart of all life.
Help us to experience your gift of love
made known to us in Jesus,
and draw us into your divine presence.
HYMN - Jesus calls us here to meet himAs we draw near to God this morning
and prepare to receive from God's table
the bread of life and the cup of blessing,
let us make our prayer of confession
before our Lord.
you are our creator and our maker.
You watch over us.
Forgive us, God, for those times
when we have failed to acknowledge you;
those times we have ignored you
or thought that we were alone,
the times when we have acted
as if we could do all things by ourselves.
You call us to love one another
as you love us,
and to let your Spirit guide us
throughout each day.
We confess that we do not always open our lives to you,
and through you, to one another.
We so often act as if we are alone,
as if there were nowhere to turn.
Forgive us God.
Heal our broken hearts,
unite our broken families,
cure our countries of war,
and mend our broken world.
Lord, hear us, touch us
and make us whole.
No matter where we are, God is there.
No matter what we have done, God forgives.
No matter our reluctance to accept God,
God accepts us as we are
to transform and renew us.
With that assurance, receive forgiveness,
and live in fullness and in hope.
Thanks be to God.
HYMN - God is Love: let heaven adore him
Prayer before the Reading:God, the words you speak have power:
power to create,
power to disturb,
power to heal.
Help us to hear your word for us today.
Reading: Matthew 10: 40-42
Gracious God, we come from many different churches, with different traditions even within our own denominations. But most of our neighbours do not find any need for church, so we pray for a fresh understanding of what it is to be a missionary church. Help us find ways of better understanding the places where we live, where we work, where we find relaxation - and also those places where people can find help and support for daily living. Give us, we pray, the spirit of mission that takes us out of our comfort zone, even out of our church building, in order to live out our Christian message.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
Let us declare our faith and trust in God. (Part of A Song of Faith, from the United Church of Canada - ucc.ca)
We believe in God who is Holy Mystery, beyond complete knowledge, above perfect description.
Yet, in love, the one eternal God, who creates the universe, seeks relationship.
God tends the universe, mending the broken and reconciling the estranged.
God enlivens the universe, guiding all things toward harmony with their Source.
Grateful for God's loving action, we cannot keep from singing.
We sing of Jesus, a Jew, born to a refugee family in poverty.
He knew human joy and sorrow.
So filled with the Holy Spirit was he that in him people experienced the presence of God among them.
We sing of God the Spirit, faithful and untameable, creatively active in the world.
The Spirit challenges us to celebrate the holy in the familiar and in the unfamiliar.
The Spirit speaks our prayers of deepest longing,
enfolds our concerns and confessions, and transforms us and the world.
We sing of a church seeking to continue the story of Jesus
by embodying Christ's presence in the world.
Grateful for God's loving action, we witness to Holy Mystery who is Wholly Love.
HYMN - The Church of Christ in every ageBecause there is one bread, we who are many are one body,
for we all partake of the one bread.
In Christ, God breaks down the walls that make us strangers to ourselves,
and divide us from one another.
We are the body of Christ.
In these sacred moments, this table is not our table,
nor is it the table of the Church nor of Fred Olsen.
This is God's table and it is open to all those
who wish to meet Christ, committed or curious.
Jesus never turned anyone away,
and so we know that each one of us is welcome at this feast of love.
As we prepare to share this meal,
we are reminded of Jesus' call that we should be at peace
with God, within ourselves and with each other.
So may God's peace be with you now,
and also with you.
At this table we bear witness to our faith.
At this table, God brings wholeness out of brokenness, and healing to our world.
So let us break bread together, and commit ourselves in service as we worship God.
The Spirit of God is with us.
We turn to God, the source of life. We give thanks to God, our constant companion.
Blessed are you, gracious God, Creator of light, Giver of all life, Source of love.
From stardust you formed us in your image and filled us with your breath.
Through all our living you are our guide and companion.
You call us to live with justice and compassion, and to bring healing and wholeness.
Thank you for Jesus, your Chosen One, who offered bread and wine for the journey.
We give you thanks for your living Word that you hide like a treasure in our heart,
for the leaven that penetrates every area of our life, for the seed that grows into full maturity.
Now we do what Jesus did the night before he died.
He took bread, gave you thanks, broke the bread, and gave it to his friends and said,
"Take, eat, remember me."
Later he took the cup, gave you thanks, passed it to them and said,
"Take, drink, remember me."
By this bread and cup, we remember Jesus,
and share in the mystery of your being, your love and your purpose.
Send your Spirit on these gifts, food and drink for the journey.
Bless our journeying together, that we all may walk in confidence and trust all our days.
God of courage and compassion, there is no pain that does not echo in your heart.
So we pray for all whose hearts are breaking,
all whose lives are fraught, all whose past is unforgiven,
all whose present is unbearable, all whose future is bleak.
We pray in the name of Jesus, who gave us the words we now say together:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil;
for the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever,
The bread that we break and the cup for which we give thanks
are our sharing in the life of Christ.
The gifts of God for the people of God
as we travel together towards the heart of God.
Come, for all is now ready.
The Sharing of the Bread of Life and the Cup of BlessingFor the bread we have eaten,
for the wine we have tasted,
for the life we have received,
we thank you, God.
In deep gratitude for this moment, this meal,
our friends around us, we give ourselves afresh to you.
Enable us to grow in love and understanding that our lives henceforth
may reveal your love and justice to all around us.
HYMN - As a fire is meant for burning
BenedictionMay the peace of God,
which is beyond our utmost understanding,
and of far more worth than human reasoning,
keep guard over our hearts and thoughts,
now and always.