Communion Tastes Different Now

God, I have had many times when I realized I didn’t really know anything.

All the things I knew how to do have changed.

From going for a walk to grocery shopping.

And, so, Communion tastes different.

Do we even know how the economy works? I doubt anyone knows anymore.

Money and power become nonsensical, time itself has changed.

When I see two or three year olds wear a mask, without blinking, for three hours of nursery school.

I realize that they are the only ones who will know how the world works right now. Because they are growing into it.

Meanwhile ancient schemes are being broken

And the Holy Spirit is here, whispering new words on the wind.

And because I have changed, and I’m a part of communion, communion tastes differently now. The kingdom tastes different.

Because everything is being made new.

The whole world is indeed laboring in birth, and I am praying that somehow, all things are working together for good.

The thing about labor is, you don’t know what you’re doing

Parts of you die and parts of your body make room for the new thing, and parts of your body are never the same again.

It’s messy and bloody and it hurts like hell.

And when you are handed the child, whew.

You really realize that you really don’t know anything.

Mothering, swaddling God, tell us it’s ok if communion tastes different, it’s still communion.

Lord, teach us how to handle this new reality that is being birthed, I pray.

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt credit Pastor Katy Stenta

Here is the Link for Pandemic Prayers and Resources: Top Posts are “In an Abundance of Caution” “The Lord is My Shepherd: What kind of Sheep are You” and “Masks: A Prayer”

Enough for Grace

Holy Spirit, as I live and breathe I consider my requirements and hold them up against your grace.

How is it I am enough for you? On the one hand I am never enough. I have this drive to achieve and perfect. But though this drive is a part of being human, I know this is by no means your requirement.

For who is perfect but you, God?

Sometimes, when I imagine heaven, I know I get it all wrong. Picturing it like a Hall of Fame of acheivements or a place of perfection.

When, instead, you promise it to be the feast where everyone gets fed, and no one is too late to join.

Instead, you promise it to be a place where participation is valued, not perfection.

What a balm, to remember that you want each of us to participate.

There is no such thing as perfect communion. If you required perfection for communion, it would unravel–becoming a practice of the singular being a Christ.

Instead, you invite us to come, in all of our messy, fumbling, clumsy ways of love. Instead you encourage any and all to participate in whatever way we can. Jesus stands at the table with open arms, tearing the bread apart with his own hands, his eyes twinkling.

And then, God you make communion: miraculously happen, by being present!

You are there when the lips of the ill or frail touch the elements. You are there when the cup of grace is overfilled and drips and spills over. You cross the great expanses of screens and bring us into communion with one another and you even over the internet. The miracle of your promised presence each and every time we practice communion is perfection itself.

Communion is perfect.

And we are it’s participants, not its perfecters.

Lord, help us to remember you value true and honest participation over any attempt at perfection. You are perfect so we don’t have to be. You created communion so we can be a part of perfection, a part of you, together.

Only you, O God, would see perfection as something to partake in, rather than something to strive for.

In this way communion is truly a foretaste of the kingdom meal. And for that I give you thanks and praise.

Amen.

This Prayer can be used/adapted with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta 

More Mundane Prayers: for surviving the Day to Day

Here is the Link for Pandemic Prayers and Resources: Top Posts are “In an Abundance of Caution” “The Lord is My Shepherd: What kind of Sheep are You” and “Masks: A Prayer”

Virtual Communion Resources

All Resources may be used with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Virtual Communion Prayer/Meditation

We are forever practicing virtual communion.

Recalling you, re-membering you. Virtually recalibrating ourselves to be the body of Christ until it becomes a physical reality.

We celebrate with all those saints who have come before us, and all those who have yet to come as a part of your kingdom. It is a virtual party, a foretaste, a glimpse of what is to come.

We worry about the rules a lot: who is truly welcome at the table, does Jesus really mean every single person can be a part of the body of Christ?

We worry about what together means: does communion mean at the same time, does it mean being in the same place? Does it mean the same loaf? Does it mean it all has to be wine? Do chips & grape soda count? What is the food of the people?

In our anxiety to be together, sometimes we do the opposite and make a lot of walls to keep each other apart.

But I’m happy for the gift of virtual communion. To remember that not everyone who is supposed to be there is there, and yet somehow it’s still communion and they are still included.

I am grateful for the celebration of it–for the solemn moment when we realize that we are a part of God’s family, and that Jesus welcomed especially those who are forgotten or overlooked, I remember that Jesus often called those who had no other access by NAME to him.

Because this virtual communion is also a real communion. Somehow, miraculously it’s always both. We are both the unbaked bread beginning to rise, and the crusty bake, dipped in the cup, and no matter what stage we are at we can taste it on our tongue.

However we classify and codify this communion, Lord I pray you make us a part of it.

May we be blessed, broken and consumed, until Jesus comes again.

We pray. Amen.

Eucharist Prayer; As we touch the bread and cup, the body and the blood of Christ to our lips. Let us remember that Jesus came as embodied love. Fully human, he bore the scars of his death upon the cross. When we consume Christ, when we practice communion with his body, we re-member you, we start the healing of coming together. No matter how we are practicing communion, we are practicing with you and therefore with one another. Strengthen us as the body Christ, heal us as the body of Christ and empower us to be the body of Christ we pray. Amen.

Communion Prayer: Lord as we stand isolated in this space. Grant us communion with one another and you, we pray. Remind us that you stand in relationship with us, forever drawing us together whenever and however with gather in your name. Send your Holy Spirit onto the elements we have here, the common food of our kitchens and pantries, so that it is imbued with your essence and love. Teach us how to practice communion in our present state we pray. Amen.

Virtual Commuion Order of Worship

Virtual Communion Invitation: As we are gathered–like the stars scattered upon the sky, let us remember God’s covenantal promise to Abraham, that God will always and forever be our God and we will always and forever be the children of God. Knowing that God loves us, and that Jesus Christ took the most basic and essential food of the people and consecrated them, let us now celebrate communion together, in what may be a new way.

I invite you to respond with the bold at home, I will read both parts today….

The Lord be with you

And also with you

Lift up your hearts

We Lift Our Hearts to the Lord

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

(Feel free to add any Lamb of God/Mystery of Faith elements that fit your congregation)

It is right to give our thanks and praise (Jesus Christ we give you thanks and praise that you are here, gathering us together, in ways the human experience had not not yet imagined. And we recall your promised that wherever–and however–two or three are gathered in your name, you will be there. Here we are gathered, and we praise you for your presence, for your eternal presence in the stars and in every grain of sand upon the beach and in every human child. We give thanks for your consistant and constant presence in our lives. We pray that we can feel your presence here today. Amen)

I invite you to gather whatever communion elements you have, and to hold them close as we pray today.

On the night that Jesus Christ was betrayed, when they were fellow shipping together, Jesus took the food of the people, he gave thanks, and he broke it. He said, this is my body broken for you do this in remembrance of me.

Then in the same way, he took the cup, he gave thanks over it, and he said this is my blood poured out for you. Every time you eat this food and your drink this cup, you celebrate my death until I come again.

Let us Prepare ourselves to celebrate communion (Prayer asking for the Holy Spirit either see above prayers or pray extemporaneously)

Come let us consume the Lord together.

Prayer after Communion: Lord we give thanks for this simple meal to practice communion with one another and with you, may it serve as a foretaste of the kingdom where all the saints will gather once and for all. We give you thanks and praise. Amen.

More Pandemic Prayers & Resouces

Virtual Communion

Ways to remember the lives and work of church saints | United ...

Image

We are forever practicing virtual communion.

Recalling you, re-membering you. Virtually recalibrating ourselves to be the body of Christ until it becomes a physical reality.

We celebrate with all those saints who have come before us, and all those who have yet to come as a part of your kingdom. It is a virtual party, a foretaste, a glimpse of what is to come.

We worry about the rules a lot: who is truly welcome at the table, does Jesus really mean every single person can be a part of the body of Christ?

We worry about what together means: does communion mean at the same time, does it mean being in the same place? Does it mean the same loaf? Does it mean it all has to be wine? Do chips & grape soda count? What is the food of the people?

In our anxiety to be together, sometimes we do the opposite and make a lot of walls to keep each other apart.

But I’m happy for the gift of virtual communion. To remember that not everyone who is supposed to be there is there, and yet somehow it’s still communion and they are still included.

I am grateful for the celebration of it–for the solemn moment when we realize that we are a part of God’s family, and that Jesus welcomed especially those who are forgotten or overlooked, I remember that Jesus often called those who had no other access by NAME to him.

Because this virtual communion is also a real communion. Somehow, miraculously it’s always both. We are both the unbaked bread beginning to rise, and the crusty bake, dipped in the cup, and no matter what stage we are at we can taste it on our tongue.

However we classify and codify this communion, Lord I pray you make us a part of it.

May we be blessed, broken and consumed, until Jesus comes again.

We pray. Amen.

More Pandemic Prayers & Resources

Seeds Liturgy Crucifixion: Matthew #GoodFriday Fully Abundantly Human

Good Friday

Matthew 27:27-61 

Psalm 22:1-2, 14-18

Tenebrae Order of Worship I (Extinguish Candles after singing)

Were You there when they crucified the Lord or Taize: Stay with Me

Crown of Thorns: Matthew 27:27-31

This is Jesus, King of the Jews Matthew 27:32-37

Crucifixion Matthew 27:38-44

Were You There when they nailed him to a tree 

Communion

My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Matthew 27:45-51

Were You There when they left him there to die or Taize O Lord Hear My Prayer

Earthquake Matthew 27:52-54

Nail Sins to the Cross

Tomb Matthew 27-55:61

Were You there when they laid him in the Tomb or Taize Kyrie Eleison 

Tenebrae Order of Worship II (Extinguish during Silent Meditations or Hymns)

Matthew 27:27-29

Silent Meditation

Psalm 22:1-2

Silent Meditation

Matthew 27: 41-44

Silent Meditation

Psalm 22: 16-17

Silent Meditation

Matthew 27: 45-47

Silent Meditation

Communion

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (abruptly end with “cry” before the Alleluias) 

Nail Sins to the Cross

Psalm 22:14-15

Silent Meditation

III. Full Liturgy available here

Communion 

Jesus our teacher, our brother, our friend knowing he was going to be betrayed and die, he took the bread and broke it and said, this is my body broken for you

Then Jesus took the cup and said: “I am poured out like water, and my bones are out of joint”

And even though Jesus knew that he would feel alone, he knew he would call out “My God, my God, Elohim, Elohim why have you forsaken me?” He poured himself out, sacrificing his very self for our sins. Every time we remember Jesus’ death we do so as a proclamation of deliverance for generation upon generation.

Send your Holy Spirit, here, God, salve our wounds and help us, even today to taste your kingdom today. We pray this using the prayer your son taught us….

 

Further Hymn Ideas: Let US Break Bread Together v1 &2

Bread of the World in Mercy Broken

All of the suggestions within the Tenebrae

When in Doubt: Prayer Resource #MaundyThursday, #Communion #Liturgy, #LastSupper

John 19:23-30 and Psalm 26:3

Note: The Narrative Lectionary takes up this account of the cross, rather than Footwashing, for Maundy Thursday. Therefore, I have taken these images to describe the Supper in the litany that follows.

John 19:23-30 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says,

“They divided my clothes among themselves,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”

25 And that is what the soldiers did.

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And because of* that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

* Most translations render the phrase, ap’ ekeinës tes öras, as “from that hour” or “after that hour,” but, besides the temporal meaning, the phrase can also mean “because of that hour.” Sophia Park, The Galilean Jesus: Creating A Borderland at the Foot of the Cross (Jn 19:23-30), Theological Studies 70 (2009).

Litany to be used after the Scripture reading/sermon on John

ALL: FROM THAT MOMENT ON, BECAUSE OF THAT HOUR,*

One: one piece of Christ’s body is given,

MANY: and Christ’s whole body is given.

ALL: FROM THAT MOMENT ON, BECAUSE OF THAT HOUR,

One: We are each individual parts of Christ Jesus’ body

MANY: and together we are the complete body of Christ Jesus.

ALL: FROM THAT MOMENT ON, BECAUSE OF THAT HOUR,

One: Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.”

MANY: and to the beloved disciple, “Here is your mother.”

ALL: FROM THAT MOMENT ON, BECAUSE OF THAT HOUR,

One: We are each a part of God’s family

MANY: and together we are the abundant family of God.

ALL: FROM THAT MOMENT ON, BECAUSE OF THAT HOUR,

One: it was finished

MANY: and it had just begun.

ALL: FROM THAT MOMENT ON, BECAUSE OF THAT HOUR,

One: Jesus’ thirst was answered with sour wine, and he gave up his spirit;

MANY: our thirst is answered with the cup, and we partake of the Spirit.

Invitation

From that moment of crucifixion on, because of that hour,

we gather at the Lord’s table to eat this bread and drink this cup.

The one who fed great crowds with just five loaves offers himself as the bread of life. The one who offers the cup is himself living water. He is the bread of life.

Whoever comes to him will never be hungry,

and whoever believes in him will never be thirsty.

*In John 19:27b, “most translations render the phrase, ap’ ekeinës tes öras, [regarding the beloved disciple taking Mary to his home] ‘from that hour’ or ‘after that hour,’ but, besides the temporal meaning, the phrase can also mean ‘because of that hour.’ Sophia Park, The Galilean Jesus: Creating A Borderland at the Foot of the Cross (Jn 19:23-30), Theological Studies 70 (2009).

Great Thanksgiving

The Lord is with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

O Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

You alone give the true bread from heaven that gives life to the world.

Empower us to work for the food that endures for eternal life.

Give us this bread always, that we may live forever.

We come to you and will never be hungry.

We believe in you and will never be thirsty.

We eat this bread, your flesh, given for the life of the world.

We partake of this true food and this true drink.

We abide in you, and you abide in us. We live because of you.

We thank you and praise you for the great mystery of faith:

Christ has died,

Christ is risen,

Christ will come again.

Thanks be to God.

Words of Institution

Jesus taught about the bread of his flesh, saying:
“V
ery truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life.  I am the bread of life. 

Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 

This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 

I am the living bread that came down from heaven.

Whoever eats of this bread will live forever;

and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

.

And Jesus turned water into the very best wine,

providing abundantly for a celebration of love and family,

the first of the signs revealing his glory, so that his disciples believed in him.

Epiklesis

O God, send your Holy Spirit upon this bread and cup,

that they may be for us Christ Jesus’ body and blood,

Give us your eternal food and your abundant cup,

so that we may abide in you and you in us.

*This liturgy uses images from the Gospel of John;  traditional words of institution may of course be used instead.

More Lent Prayer Resources

Rev. Dr. Barbara Hedges-Goettl has her doctorate in liturgy and has worked on the new Book of Common Worship for the PCUSA, she is particularly interested in Communion, and uses her writing skills for bulletins, sermons and IEPs for children with special needs.

 

lent

When in Doubt: Peter’s Denial #worship and #liturgy resource, including Communion

Prayers & Liturgy written by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl, all available for use with credit.

More resources for Lent available here.

lent

John 18:12-27 and Psalm 17:1-7

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving

One: The Lord be with you.

Many: And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

O God, since speaking Creation into being,

you have spoken openly to the world.

You teach your people wherever they come together.

You do nothing in secret.

You speak aloud rightly to all who would hear,

You use the testimony of those who hear what you say.

Sometimes, we are able to testify to your love and your works.

At other times, we are not even sure we know you.

At times, belonging to you is a joyful affirmation.

At other times, belonging to you is more of an accusation.

We doubt our ability to stand with you when danger arises,

We are immobilized by our doubt.

But your faithfulness and love are not dependent on us.

You proclaim them regardless of our feelings and participation.

When our commitment is in doubt, your commitment is sure.

When we deny your claim on us, you claim us still.

You act with justice and mercy to redeem all creation.

In everlasting love, you choose your people as your own.

Hearing our cries of fear and doubt,

you deliver us from the house of bondage.

Loving us still, you make us heirs with Christ of the covenant.

Like a mother, you do not forsake your nursing child.

Like a father, you run to welcome your prodigals home.

ALL: You are faithful still.

Despite our unfaithfulness,

in spite of the moments when we deny you,

you claim us.

You sent your Son: born to among us as one of us.

He lived among us, full of grace and truth,

your servant and the servant of the people you created,

speaking and healing, leading and comforting.

He was crucified, one person dying for the people;

he rose from the dead, conquering death and evil,

and all that separates us from you and from each other.

He promised the full coming of your Kingdom,

and emboldened those he left behind to walk and witness to your way.

We praise you for your great and glorious work,

joining our voices with all who came before us—

prophets and martyrs, disciples and followers,

and with all the people belonging to you in every time and place,

who forever sing the glory of your name.

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,

speaking openly so all may hear.

Hosanna in the highest.

O God, send your Holy Spirit upon these gifts of bread and cup,

that they may be for us the body and blood of your Son,

joining us to him and to you and to one another.

May your faithfulness inspire our faithfulness,

making our witness potent and powerful,

enabling us to testify to being your people,

who are called to proclaim and practice all that Christ said and did.

We pray the only way we can—

through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ,

by his power, grace and mercy.

We pray in the only unity that holds:

in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

We pray to you, the only one worthy of glory and honor;

all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,

now and forever. Amen.

Prayer After Communion

Lord, we thank you that we belong to you even when we are not sure.

May this bread and cup be for us tangible evidence of our relationship to you,

showing us your call and claim on us individually

and as the church, your body.

May we offer bread and body, cup and service, to your people,

carrying them and their burdens as you have carried us.

Potential hymns:

Ah, Holy Jesus
Before the Cock Crew Twice

Bitter Was the Night

Christ, the Life of All the Living

Guide me Ever, Great Redeemer/Guide me, O Thou Great Redeemer

Here, Lord, We Take the Broken Bread

My Song is Love Unknown

O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

O Sacred Head Surrounded/O Sacred Head Now Wounded

Psalm 31:9-16

Sharing Pascal Bread and Wine/Shadows Lengthen into Night

This is The Night. Dear Friends, The Night for Weeping

‘Tis Finished! The Messiah Dies

What Wondrous Love is This  

When My Love to God Grows Weak

When We Are Tempted to Deny Your Son

Potential art

Jesus Before Caiaphas   http://www.pitts.emory.edu/dia/bridge.cfm?ID=450

The Denial of St. Peter (Carvaggio, Baroque period)

https://honorsartatthemet.ace.fordham.edu/files/original/2425ce4528557ba00b62e31482fde4e9.jpg

Denial of St. Peter by Adam de Costner (this one may be here > once; this is better image)

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=6HtF3_kMJLdxHM:

The Denial of St. Peter c. 1623

https://collections.artsmia.org/art/1886/the-denial-of-st-peter-gerrit-van-honthorst

Peter Denies Jesus But Receives God’s Forgiveness

https://hopestreamradio.com/peter-denies-jesus-but-receives-gods-forgiveness/

Peter About to Be Struck in Front of the High Priest Annas

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanhedrin_trial_of_Jesus#/media/File:Jes%C3%BAs_en_casa_de_An%C3%A1s_Museo_del_Prado_Jos%C3%A9_de_Madrazo.jpg

The Repentant Peter (El Greco)

https://www.wga.hu/support/viewer/z.html

Peter Denying Christ (Rembrandt)

http://www.abcgallery.com/R/rembrandt/rembrandt5.html

Denial of St. Peter ( (Tournier)

https://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/t/tournier/denial.html

Condemnation of Christ and the Denial of St. Peter

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=oCUme6ZMInYDZM:

Diatessaron (conflated gospels) Denial of Peter

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=tdOmyW4Y5w2bDM:

Contemporary version Denial of Peter

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=rsUOQtmJQwY7CM:

Another contemporary version

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=3K8T8EwYH0ydCM:

Church of St. Peter/Gallicantu. Jerusalem

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=shpcvwX7WpmwxM:

Contemporary Metal Sculpture at Church of St Peter/Gallicantu, Jerusalem

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=b2dmi82lx0YCDM:

Contemporary clay sculpture, Church of St. Peter/Gallicantu, Jerusalem

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=68IZNHGVFmaUBM:

Peter After His Denial of Christ

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=FbtLo-z-XdTuMM:

Denial of St. Peter (Renaissance)

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=vhurCdiQ7H0g_M:

St. Peter’s Repentance

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=rPRmbme3q4YHqM:

Black & white contemporary line drawing

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=Bwqkw2ybmpNUwM:

The Cock

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=P7yyfRA986FvXM:

Third Denial (Tissot)

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=FcppgOxJYMjxyM:

Denial of St. Peter (Preti)

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=WK7ab8w-zw-A8M:

Passion of Jesus

https://www.google.com/search?q=The+Condemnation+of+Christ+and+the+Denial+of+Saint+Peter&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqvrugjJrZAhVhw1kKHee9DCMQ7AkIXw&biw=1242&bih=535&safe=active&ssui=on#imgrc=LJ8_HD4vfPZQWM:

Tasting #God

I look over as I raise my glass, the bread has been swallowed individually, because we are all individuals in Christ, and there is Westley, 7 years old and dead serious.

“This is the blood of the New Covenant, Friends, drink ye all of it” I pronounce. Westley holds his cup as steady as he can…and then he drinks it and we drink it.

And Westley tastes God.

Watching my autistic son take communion, being soothed by its ritual, experiencing the taste of the liturgy in community in a way the wordy-words of the sermon and even the half-warbled hymns from his throat doesn’t.

Westley loves church, because he knows he is loved. He knows he is accepted. Working on body language, empathy & instinct, Westley will run from the room if he feels unwanted. He knows. This little boy who doesn’t sit, not even in front of his beloved electronics without fiddling or bouncing or squishing. Sits solemnly throughout service. participating not just with the community, but as a part of it.

But this is his church, this is his space, he is growing up here. And for a little boy who has a lot of trouble speaking and understanding words, the bread and the cup (grape juice) speak to him.

For Westley, Communion is community, its love, its ritual, its sensational in all the right ways. Communion is the taste of God, the one-ness with humanity. Seeing Westley take Communion is holy ground, because we ask God to be present, and miraculously, God is there. God is in the little boy who carefully picks his bread from the platter, and eats it, waiting for the cup to be raised, so we can drink it, as communion.

 

Links of Prayer: Narrative Lectionary for Lent

Links of Prayer Resources for Lent.
A broad number of prayers from a variety of pastors/denominations. All variations of theology and kinds of prayers were accepted to show the vast richness of God’s work.
 These prayers are meant for personal spiritual practice or for congregations who follow the narrative lectionary.
They include a Call to Worship/Opening Prayer, Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Pardon, Communion Prayer, Prayer of Dedication/Offering and Some are Paired Psalm-Prayer Station Guide by Rev. Shea Zellweger
Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer written by XXX) appreciated.
March 1st Ash Wednesday by Rev. Mary Austin
March 5th The Good Samaritan by Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis
March 12th The Lament Over Jerusalem by Rev. Courtney D. Arntzen
March 19th Lost Coin, Lost Sheep, Lost Son by Rev. Mike Williams
March 26th Rich Man and Lazarus by Rev. Tracy Spencer-Brown
Apr 2nd Zacchaeus by Rev. Katy Stenta
Apr 11th Triumphal Entry/Palm Sunday by Rev. Jeanne Gay
Apr 13th Last Supper by Rev. Amy Fetterman
Apr 14th Crucifixion by Rev Lee Ann Higgins
      Good Friday Liturgy of the Nails http://wp.me/p2rhxZ-25W
Apr 16th Resurrection/Easter by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl

#rejectedsermontitles: we are cannibles! #Jesus=bread of life

Many thanks to Mihee Kim-Kort who discussed the scripture with me for This Everyday Holy Blog which is at the base of this sermon

John 6

Eating as an act is interesting, it is something every human has to do to stay alive.

Ever have a really good meal. The kind where you sit around afterwards and dissect what it was you loved about it? Almost reliving the meal and sharing with one another.

If I were God I probably would have made all food the same, to fit our needs. Here humans is grass, eat it and be nourished. Boom! Done! You are full, but Jesus promises not to just fill us up with some kind of food, but to nourish us in a new way.

But our God instead creates a myriad of flavors for us to try. In fact there are so many that eating a meal with another person creates a special kind of fellowship.

So, we all eat together, and then afterwards we can dissect the meal together. Talking about what was good, and sharing in that experience. We are in essence eating one another’s experiences and sharing into it.

What fills me up, and what I need is probably different than what you need (for instance I am a vegetarian and have been since the womb, meat made my mother feel ill). My husband would state that meat is necessary to meet his needs. What Jesus offers us is not just sufficency, not just enough to feed the whole world, but the right kind of food for you and for me. The food is different, but the experience is uniting. This is why our God is the God of justice because She meets us where we are and leads us to where we need to go.

Jesus is a prime example of that in his ministry, meeting people wherever they are: being stoned, up a tree, by a well even on a cross (if you are a follower of my blog you may notice this as one of my themes). Jesus meets us where we are.

But if you think about it, meal time is the epitome of what it is to experience church. It is to experience the Holy Spirit moving, each in our own way, and then sharing that experience. Ideally, Worship would be like a GREAT meal, where each of us imbibe in worship and then sit down together and talk about which instance of experiencing God–reliving it for others and inviting them to consume that experience with us. We, in that instant, become the Body of Christ. Thus making us cannibles: Eating Christ and Each Other over and over again.

Only God could set up Worship so that shared experiences and differential understandings of scripture and worship could actually DEEPEN our understanding of God.

Let’s Eat!