This Sunday is World Communion Sunday: a day on which the Church around the world celebrates our communion with Christ and one another. This communion liturgy is based on John 4:4-42.
We too, have food that others may not know about. A food that satisfies and costs us nothing. We come to this table to be fed, to be nourished in spirit and truth. We come to be strengthened so that we may join Jesus in the harvest. We come to be fed because we believe in Jesus’ word – Jesus who is truly savior of the world. Let us give our thanks to God.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
God of Spirit and Truth, we come before you this morning to worship. Sometimes it feels like we are worshipping what we do not know. And other times, we worship fully knowing that you are the source of our salvation. For the invitation to come before you regardless of our faith, we give you thanks.
Jesus, revealer of Spirit and Truth, it is by your word we are saved. You came to us though you did not need to. You welcome us though we are not worthy. You give us living water and the bread of life though we often seek that which does not lead to life. For the invitation to eat and drink at your table, we give you thanks.
Holy Spirit of Truth, it is through your abiding presence that we live. You continue to refresh the breath of life within us so that we may breathe grace in the world. You lead us back to a life of worship when we wander or get lost. For the invitation to move with you in the world, we give you thanks.
Spirit of Truth, we pray that you would move in this place today. Blow through the places we seek to hide and show us truth. Blow through the barriers that separate us from you so that we may worship fully. Blow from this place out into the world, joining us in your holy wind so that the cup and loaf we share in this place would be joined to those being shared throughout the world. May we be brought into communion with Christ and his Church so that in all spirit and truth we would glorify you.
As we join the global Church at the table, we also join the many voices and languages praying the prayer you taught us, using the words – and even the language – that is most familiar to us. Our Father…
Many Samaritans in that city believed in Jesus because of the woman’s word when she testified, “He told me everything I’ve ever done.” So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. Many more believed because of his word, and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this one is truly the savior of the world.”
Jesus stayed in this Samaritan village for two days. The Greek word is abided. Jesus abided with them, revealing a word of salvation; teaching them what it means to worship in spirit and truth. Likewise, Jesus abides with us each time we come to this table.
As we share in this bread, broken for us so that we might be satisfied,
as we share in this cup, spilled for us so that we might be filled
we abide in Christ and with the Church throughout the world.
Each time we eat this bread or drink from this cup, we worship in spirit and truth until the day that we worship together as one Church with our Risen Lord.
In celebration of World Communion Sunday, we have brought bread from east and west, north and south to eat at the table of God. You are invited to choose a piece of bread from the basket and then partake of the cup. The basket on the right side of the table is regular bread. The basket on the left side of the table is gluten-free.
Let us come with our brothers and sisters around the world to taste and see that the Lord is good.
Prayer After Communion
God of the nations, God of our worship, God of our very breath, we thank you for nourishing us once again at your table. May we join you in the harvest as we bring your abiding love into the world. Amen.
If you are looking for more liturgical resources, please consider checking out my books:
Prayers for the People: Scripturally Based Prayers for Worship Prayers for the People is a collection of prayers for worship. These prayers offer the worshipping community fresh perspectives for praying the words of Scripture, using current language and references. Cross-referenced to the Revised Common Lectionary, pastors seeking to lead their people in prayer have found a relevant and beautiful source for worship planning.
Come to the Table: Communion Liturgies of Invitation to Celebrate and Experience the Love of God is a collection of communion liturgies inviting worshippers to experience and respond to the Gospel. These meaningful liturgies enhance and reinforce the biblical message of the day. Worshippers are welcomed to the Table to experience the Word in preparation to go out into the world and live it. Come to the Table includes liturgies for the entire liturgical year providing pastors with a valuable resource in worship planning.
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[…] You can find my World Communion liturgies here and here. […]