Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

October 2007: Making room

As people arrived, we washed their hands mediaeval-style with bowls and ewers.

Sarah told us stories of hospitality customs around the world.

Opening liturgy

[a focus on God's welcome and hospitality to us]

This is the house of God and whoever you are, wherever you have been, whatever you have done and whoever you know, God flings the door wide open

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

This is the house of God and whatever you have done and wherever you have been God has a place reserved for you

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows

This is the house of God and who ever you are God invites you in

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

This is the house of God and God is delighted to see you

You're no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You're no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to be called a follower of Christ as anyone. God is building a home. He's using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building.

This is the house of God and God welcomes you here

Responsive prayer

From the Hospitality Eucharist, Alternative Worship, page 117

Song

written and led by Jonny

welcoming god
welcoming god
an open home
and a holy table
welcoming god

enfleshing god
enfleshing god
imitate christ
and his welcome
enfleshing god

accepting god
accepting god
grace and care
heal rejection
accepting god

embracing god
embracing god
within the poor
and the stranger
embracing god

welcoming god...

Engaging with the biblical story

Dean led us in Godly play-style wondering about the text and how it impacts us.
The story we used was adapted from Luke 14:12-24.
Here are some of our post-story wonderings;

I wonder what the room where Jesus had dinner was like?
I wonder if it was a private place, or if there were lots of people coming in and out?
I wonder if Jesus felt comfortable at the dinner?
I wonder why the leader of the Pharisees invited Jesus?
I wonder if he wanted to meet Jesus, or if he wanted to trip him up, or if he wanted to show off his power and wealth?
I wonder why Jesus told the pharisee that he shouldn’t invite to dinner only the people who could repay him?
I wonder how the Pharisee felt when Jesus said that to him?
I wonder how the Pharisee felt when he realised that the poor, crippled, lame, blind and lame would probably be unclean according to Jewish law?
I wonder what kind of people you invite to dinner?
I wonder who the equivalent of the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame are for you today?
I wonder if you could invite them to dinner?

I wonder why Jesus told the parable of the guests at the feast?
I wonder which of the people in the parable is most like you?
I wonder if you find it easier to give hospitality or receive it?
I wonder if the parable is a picture of God’s hospitality to us?
I wonder if you will be too busy to accept it?

Confession

From the Hospitality Eucharist, Alternative Worship, page 117

Two symbolic responses

Wall of bricks – to represent fears of/barriers to hospitality, the obstacles we have to interacting with others – people to take a brick to symbolise wanting to address these fears/barriers

Setting the table – have a bare table – people add place settings – napkins, plates, cutlery, candles, salt, pepper, candles – to symbolise wanting to create environments in which hospitality can flourish. People write on place-cards the names of specific people that they want to be more hospitable to.

Blessing

From the Hospitality Eucharist, Alternative Worship, page 119

<< September: Roads and maps for the year ahead | top | November: Hospitality Communion >>