Words to those who use these materials:
Holy Communion for February 2023, is a little late for Presentation at the Temple which some faith communities celebrate or Candlemas when many bless the year’s candles, from the ordinary Sunday ones to Advent Candles, little Christmas Eve ones, the Tenebrae candles, candles for weddings, funerals, and the Christ Candle. It is also little early for Valentine’s Day or Transfiguration or Ash Wednesday.
It is a lower-case epiphany of how precious this sacred but ordinary meal is in the lives of each congregation and of each individual. I lean into the Revised Common Lectionary for my words this month, and I am grateful to photographer Nancy Donovan from whom I asked a picture of Communion. She sent me a Solitaire sacrament (notice even the pack of cards). I am so grateful that, while many churches have returned to Holy Communion in sanctuaries, most have members who are cautious or ill, recovering from surgery or unwilling to drive in winter weather, whose Eucharist is as much a part of our sacred meal as those who have come to the pews.
Invitation to Communion (Matthew 5:13-20)
Come to this table, shaken like salt;
come to this table, tasty like salt –
for you have preserved old stories,
and raised the blood pressures
of those who do injustice.
Come to this table, with shining;
but also come with your tired old batteries –
for you have illuminated joys and sorrows,
and you have been snuffed out
and re-lit again and again.
Come to this table salty like sweat
from caring for the world,
and crumpled like a bag of fries.
Come to this table, bright as a halogen headlight
and fragile as the candle flame
on a one-year-old birthday cake.
Come to this table because whoever you are
Jesus told parables for you.
Words of Remembering (Isaiah 58:1-12)
We remember that Jesus quoted Isaiah
throughout the gospels –
for Christ came to lead followers
who feed those who are hungry
shelter those unhoused,
clothe those naked,
and comfort those afflicted.
Christ came to lead followers
to destroy injustices,
lift up those who are oppressed,
break the yokes of those victimized
and, at the same time,
stop pointing fingers of blame.
And we remember that Jesus
sealed the covenant
not in a fast of deprivation,
but a feast of hope,
sitting at a seder celebrating
escape from oppression,
and claiming that the new Way
is bread and fruit and love.
Prayer of Consecration
Spirit of Christ, shake on our lives
the seasoning of love
for Bread is Body
and the Cup is poured for all.
Shine on these gifts so here and so now.
Shine on our lives today
and give us enough for
everyone’s tomorrows. amen.
Sharing of the Elements
For all your paths in the New Year,
and all the light arising on your way home,
Take this bread and eat.
For every meal you share with others,
and every sip you need of hope.
Take this cup and drink.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
God, now that we are fed, we recognize how many there are who need a lighted lamp lifted so high it may take several hands to hold it, and who always need a taste of tomorrow and a sip of courage for it. For this we pray in the words Jesus taught his Followers …
Prayer of our Savior. Amen
amen & amen we need it… amen 💙💙💙💙💙💙🙏🏿
Beautiful! So perfectly apt for the present moment. Thank you.
You are very welcome. I am glad that it speaks to you.