Easter -- Making Room for All God's People
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Service Prayers, with Holy Communion
Call to Worship
Leader: We gather in this sacred and holy space
People: To become the people that proclaim the Risen Christ
Leader: We gather after having traveled from our broken spaces
People: To experience the healing love of the Risen Christ
Leader: We gather as one, even though we are diverse and unique
People: We gather as one, because God calls each and every one of us
Prayer of Invocation
God of love and unity, open our hearts and our lives so we may receive your Spirit. Help us to see beyond the differences that separate us. Help us to see beyond the limitations that keep us apart. We invoke your Spirit of Love through the Risen Christ so we may become the church of hope that welcomes an entire community, celebrating our diversity.
Prayer of Confession
Good and gracious God, we confess that too often we are instruments of apathy and insensitivity. We confess that too often we look the other way and claim it to be our way of coping with the brokenness that surrounds us. Forgive our selfcenteredness. Forgive our way of coping with the overwhelming troubles of the world. Make us mindful of your calling on our lives, so we may become the community that Christ intended us to be.
Prayer of Dedication for the Offering
God, we have asked that you be at the center of our lives, homes and community, guiding us to perfect unity. We also ask that you be at the center of our gifts, which we offer to you. Empower these gifts so they may heal a broken heart, mend a broken home, and unite a broken community. We dedicate these gifts to your work, and we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Risen Savior. Amen.
What a day we have in your creation, dear God! There is so much beauty surrounding us, and with a song of inspiration you have opened our eyes to the glory of life. We thank you for the many people that come and go from our lives on a daily basis. They enrich us with their accents and different perspectives. We thank you dear God for all these people and their diversity for we are reminded how your Spirit of Creation sought to fill this world with uniqueness and originality. In the same manner that no two snow flakes are alike, we must acknowledge that every child has a special place in our community.
We remember the words of comfort spoken by your son, Jesus, that in your house, dear God, there are many rooms. You make room for every one of us, and you call us to do the same. Making room not only for those who think and act like us, for all people who are part of this diverse community. Help us to make room for every man, woman and child. May our community be enriched by the many people who call it home. Bless us with the Spirit of hospitality and openness, so we may create a brighter and more faithful generation of Christian leaders. What a day we have in your creation, dear God, to enjoy all the possibilities that your Spirit places before us. Amen.
As we celebrate the diversity of our community with the dawn of a new day, God's people worship God's name with a variety sounds and voices. Pipes, stringed instruments, drums, pianos, guitars and organs are heard around the world, celebrating the presence of God. On this morning, Christ invites you to this table, so you may experience wholeness while seeking peace with one another.
So come, not because you must, but because you may. Come to this table not because you are strong, but because you seek God's strength. Come to this table with all your broken pieces, seeking wholeness, trusting in Jesus. Come and enjoy the feast that God has prepared for you today.
The Words of Institution
On the night that Jesus was betrayed, as he sat around a table with friends and loved ones, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "This is my body which is broken for you."
Later after they had eaten, he took a cup of wine and said, "This is the cup of everlasting life, the cup of the new covenant, made possible by my life and death. Whenever you drink from it, do it in remembrance of me."
Spirit of the Living God, descend upon us now and wrap yourself around these gifts of bread and wine, that sharing this blessing we may share in the continual presence and reality of your love. In the name of Christ. Amen.
The Breaking of the Bread and Pouring of the Cup
Through this broken bread, as God's people, we participate in the body of Christ Through this cup of blessing, we participate in the new life offered to us by Christ. The gifts of God for the people of God Come for all things have been made ready.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
O God, through this bread and this cup you have made us one with you and with each other. May the unity we find at this table be a gift that we carry out into your world. May this unity empower us to make room for all of God's people. Amen.
Making Room for All of God's People was written by the Rev. Guillermo Márquez-Sterling, Associate Pastor, Coral Gables Congregational Church, UCC in Coral Gables, Florida.
Copyright 2008 Local Church Ministries, Worship and Education Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.