Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

May 2007: Communion by numbers - the road to Emmaus

may 2007 grace flyer

if you are unsure what communion by numbers is, see the 2006 version here

The basic idea is that people follow through the worship service together in small groups around tables set up in a cafe style. In the centre of each group is a series of envelopes numbered from 1-10. At the start of the worship we arrange everyone into groups of about 6 people. They begin by opening envelope number 1 and follow the instructions inside. When a bell rings the group open the next numbered envelope and follow the instructions inside. That's it! The beauty of this worship experience is that it doesn't need to be led. It's up to the groups to make it happen.

10 different people produced the 10 different envelopes that followed through the story of the journey to Emmaus in Luke 24. This was the sequence.

1. Chill/preparation

Stand and read prayer together, walk around and find a table to sit at while listening to the music track being played

2. Emmaus Road story

Read story from bible round table and create iconic candle kit

3. The hiddenness of God (Luke 24:13-16)

A card with the following words on:

Activity 3 - The Hiddenness of God

As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognising him.

Take a looking at these recent articles from the newspapers and then spend some time discussing the following questions.

Where is God in these stories?

Why do you think God works in this way?

4. Downcast (Luke 24:17-18)

On the table were parsley and salt water. 'What has made your soul downcast this week? Spend some time silently reflecting on ways in which you have wounded your life, the lives of others and the life of the world. When you are ready, take some parsley, dip it into the salt water and eat it. The salt water represents tears of repentance; the parsley represents new life that will grow.’ Then we said a confession prayer from Iona together.

5. Storytelling part 1

Sharing our own stories (Luke 24:19-27)

6. Storytelling part 2

Hearing God's story (Luke 24:19-27)

7. Welcoming the stranger (Luke 24:28-29)

'The flight to Emmaus': we fill in landing cards for one another - it's how we welcome strangers to a country nowadays, and filling in the questions for the person sitting next to you makes you no longer strangers.

8. Breaking bread (Luke 24:30-31)

The liturgy we used is here

9. Burning hearts (Luke 24:32-35)

A card with the following words on:

Activity 9 - Their Hearts Burned - Luke 24:32-35


Luke 32: They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

Luke 33: They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon." 35Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

We often see these puzzle questions in newspapers: spot the difference image of tyra banks

If you had looked at Cleopas and the other disciple would you have been able to “spot the difference”, after their encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, would their image have altered?


Has this service changed anything to you?
What might you take away from this service?
Might it result in an action?

Write down what you might do and take it away with you

10 Prayer and blessing


<< swipe left

At the start, opening the first envelope.

Each table has a pile of envelopes, and some stuff...

Envelope 4 'Downcast' - eat parsley dipped in salt water.

By the end of the service it had got dark...


Matt finally got to DJ after coming for 10 years!






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