April 1998: Jesus without Nails
'Jesus without nails' - includes explanations of the pieces of art, slides showing images of life with and without nails etc
Lamentation / Confession :
As we draw near to the place of at-one-ment:
Give us tears to see the wonder of Your presence;
Give us tears to see the wasting of Your people,
Give us tears to see the wounding of Your Son.
We are the race that helped make the wood on which You were crucified, and still we misuse Your creation;
We are the race that helped make the nails that pierced Your body, yet still we use work for gain at others' expense;
We are the race that did nothing to stop Your betrayers, yet still we are ruled by comfort or cowardice.
Nails are hammered into pieces of wood
'Wash me clean'
The opportunity for absolution and sharing of the peace. People cross each others foreheads with water and the phrase 'Through the cross we are forgiven'
The Offering :
(Bread and wine brought to the table - a carpenter's bench)
We bless You, High King of all creation. Through your goodness we have this bread and wine to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become our spiritual food and drink.
As we bring this bread to You, we offer also: our energies and creating; our relationships and achieving; the sap of life rising; the seeds of life flowering; the resources of life acquiring; the fun of life enjoying; the raw materials of life building; the intelligence of life organising; the feelings of life communicating. You who put ear in corn, take these ordinary things and transform them into the glory of Your presence.
We pour out this wine and offer to You the woes of life outpouring; the waning powers of life, the diseases and disappointments; the hurts and the handicaps; failures caused by our stupidity or by circumstances beyond our control. As grapes are crushed to make the wine, so we offer all who are crushed by hunger or loneliness, violence or abuse. You who put beam into sun and moon, take all this and transform it into the deep, rich wine of everlasting life.
Lift up your hearts
The Eucharist :
High King of the universe, who sustains the worlds, who brought forth the earth; You breathe wisdom into all your creatures, till we reflect Your three-fold friendship. In our pain and sorrow we cry out to You, Tender Lamb, slain before the world began, perfect sacrifice for our sins. Grant that by the power of the Holy Spirit these gifts of bread and wine may be for us His body and blood who, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, gave You thanks, broke it and gave it to His disciples saying : Take, eat, this is My body which is given for you. After supper He took the cup, gave You thanks, and said to them : this is My blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of Me.
(All - words on slide)
Christ has died !
Christ is risen !
Christ will come again !
The Invitation :
This is the table not of the church, but of the Lord.
It is to be made ready for those who love Him and who want to love Him more.
So come, you who have much faith and you who have little.
You who have been here often and you who have not been for a long time.
You who have tried to follow and you who have failed.
Come. Not because I invite you; it is our Lord.
It is His will that those who want Him should meet Him here.
Use your eyes and your heart.
Here is your Lord coming to you in bread and wine.
These are the gifts of God for the people of God.
Draw near with faith.
Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ which He gave for you, and His blood which He shed for you.
Eat and drink in remembrance that he died for you, and feed on Him in your hearts by faith with thanksgiving.
Sharing the bread and wine :
'Easter Song [by A Man Called Adam]' and 'I lift my cup' played over suitable video images with the words on the screens.
'Walk On By' - a journey which explores what might have been without the resurrection of our Lord
'And Death Has No Dominion' [from the Grace CD] and 'Thine Be The Glory'
A Blessing :
includes an invitation for people to collect a nail and take it away as a symbol of the truth
(All - words on slide)
May the power and the mystery go before us,
to show us the way,
shine above us to lighten our world,
lie beneath us to bear us up,
walk with us and give us companionship,
and glow and flow within us to bring us joy. Amen.