Friends,

During this week’s online worship we will be celebrating communion. We will remember and proclaim that even when we are not physically in shared space together, we are still part of a community together.

If you weren’t able to pick up prepared communion elements from the church or if you don’t live in the Des Moines metro area but worship with us online, you are welcome to participate in communion by preparing some juice or wine or even some water and some bread or crackers and to have them available for worship.

I would encourage you this week to worship online sometime during the 9:00-10:00 a.m. hour on Sunday morning, so that as many of us that can do so are sharing communion at the same time.  If you are not able to worship online on Sunday morning, I would still invite and encourage you to celebrate communion during the online service whenever you are able to watch it.

Communion is a part of the worship experience and should be an outgrowth of worship and as a “Response to the Word”.  However if you are unable to worship online at all this week, you are welcome to use the liturgy provided, which is an adaptation of what we will use in worship this week. 

In whatever way you worship this week and in whatever way you celebrate communion, May the Lord be with you…

Eric

 

A COMMUNION LITURGY for

January 3, 2021 – Epiphany

Invitation to the Table

You are invited to read/say these words:

We have come asking for the child – wondering where that love might be born, seeking that joy that might satisfy our thirst, wandering through the darkness of so many mistakes.  We have come to this place where wise people and shepherds and young women met.  We have come to this place called Bethlehem.  To this place where our hearts rise like yeast.  To this place where we meet our newborn hope. To this place where we taste our deepest joy.

Bethlehem – we somehow missed its name.  Bethlehem.  Lehem meaning bread.  Bethel meaning house.  Bethlehem –  the House of Bread.  There is something here that will satisfy our hunger. No matter how long we have wandered. Here our hearts arise. Our light has come. In this bread and in this cup, we celebrate something we can’t quite understand. 

Because God has made a house at this table. Because God satisfies our hunger in the most unlikely places. Because God comes to be with us. Now and always.  It is with this expectation that we come to the table to taste and see that God is here.              

You are invited to spend some moments of reflective silence

 Preparing the Table

Prepare the elements you will be using and “set the table”

A Great Thanksgiving

You are invited to read/say these words:

We give you thanks, O God, for making your love evident since the very beginning of time when you spoke the word which replaced the darkness of chaos with life-giving light. A light which has nurtured generations of people, and plants and creatures, great and small. A light which also revealed the fear and powerlessness caused by corrupt and evil actions. 

And so you spoke the Word which would once and for all dispel the darkness of chaotic lives. Through your love for the world the Word became flesh and lived among us full of grace and truth. The angels caroled glory to you in the highest heavens and peace to all people on earth, and we join with them and with all people to praise your holy name:
Holy Lord, God of endless love, heaven and earth are surely full of your glory. The angels sang of it—we have been lavished with it. Blessed is he who was born that we might have life.  Glory to God and on earth peace to all people.

Holy God, as the travelers with their treasures were overwhelmed with joy on finding Jesus, so we also are overwhelmed on finding out the depth of his love for us.  For Jesus showed how beloved we are to him, by loving us and giving himself for us. 

On that night when he gave himself up for us, as he sat at the table and broke bread with his friends, he said: ‘Take and eat; this is my body which is broken for you. Remember me each time you do this.’  Acknowledge the bread/crackers you have available.

After they had eaten, he took the cup, and said: ‘Remember me as you drink from this, for it is my life, poured out for you—the beginning of a new relationship with God.’ 

Acknowledge the juice/wine/water you have available.

Giving and Receiving the Bread and Cup

You are invited to partake of the bread/crackers and juice/wine/water and to reflect silently on God’s presence in your life and to read/say aloud these words:

Send the power of your Holy Spirit upon these gifts of bread and cup, O God, that we may experience the presence of the Word-made-flesh – Jesus Christ.        

A Prayer after Receiving

When you are ready, you are invited to pray this pray:

Breathe your Spirit in us that we may be one body with him—living out his ministry in the world today and every day. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.                                                          

(Based on a Great Thanksgiving by Moira Laidlaw in, www.liturgiesonline.com)