Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

February 2023: Open Table

Grace February 2023 Open Table flyer

Welcome: - Jonny

Opening prayer: Idina

Open-armed God, you host us at your table,
and bid us welcome others in turn.

Open our hands, our eyes and our hearts to you today,
and to friends and
 strangers in our midst. Amen.

Song: Table of Christ

All are invited, all are included
All are made welcome, none are excluded
This is the table of Christ
Come if you're young, come if you're old
Come if you're broken, come if you're whole
Come if you're weary of the trials of life
This is the table of Christ

This is the table of Christ x2

Jesus the host washes your feet
Makes you his guest and lays on a feast
This is the table of Christ
Come if you're rich, come if you're poor
Come if the church stops you at the door
Come and eat bread, come and drink wine
This is the table of Christ

Eat and remember Jesus the one
Who gave up his life so you could belong
This is the table of Christ
Come if you're thirsty come and be filled
Come and be clean, come and be healed
Come and be held in the presence of God
This is the table of Christ

Confession: Idina

For the times when we have rejected your generous hospitality
Forgive us Lord
For the times when we were too busy or too lazy to come to your party
Forgive us Lord
For the times when we constructed lame excuses
Forgive us Lord
For our failure to extend the gift of hospitality to others
Forgive us Lord
For the times when we have restricted hospitality to those who are powerful, influential or wealthy
Forgive us Lord
For the times when we have excluded the sad, poor and marginalised
Forgive us Lord

Lord God, we remember those who have been excluded by us as individuals and by the church we represent.
In rejecting them we have rejected you.
For the times we have misrepresented you Lord with our individual and collective inhospitality
Please forgive us Lord

Reading: Jonny

Lk 7: 36-50 - Ignatian contemplation and sharing

Response: Jonny

From Imagining Mission with John V Taylor:

Jesus was loved by outsiders, fringe dwellers. He spent time with them, seemed particularly drawn to them, and was definitely good news for them.
He went to the other side of the lake to free a man who lived in the tombs and was tormented in his mind by other spirits.
He touched unclean lepers and allowed himself to be touched by an unclean woman who had been bleeding for years.
He stopped to notice beggars and to restore their sight but also make them able to be seen by those who would not see them.
He built his team out of uneducated working class men.
He loved women and seemed able to lift their burden of shame. He gravitated to fringe places - wilderness, a well in Samaria, the other side of the lake, tax collectors homes, the North.
He taught that a life that is full is one that is poor, grief stricken, persecuted, peace-making, hungry for and yielded to God’s way. The Church is Jesus body and Jesus community of friends.
So she is surely most herself when she is at the periphery with those who are fringe dwellers.

What stories do you want to give thanks for in Christ’s life?

The Eucharist: Idina

Open Table painting

Community of saints, beloveds of God,

 we are invited to come and gather at the table of love and liberation,

to feast on the dreams of God,

 to be nourished by but a taste of what God desires to do among us.

God calls us from institutional halls of power,

From hostels and the streets;

God calls us from classrooms and pulpits,

Gay bars and prison cells.

God calls us as we are,

from wherever we are,

to come and be in solidarity with Christ,

 who lives and loves on the margins.

God whispers “come” and live abundantly,

 turning from all that claims blessings
flow from money, power, or control.

Come, and love relentlessly;

following Christ on paths of uncertainty,

taking risks for one another,

 calling down unjust power from its throne

and lifting up the lowly, the impoverished, the burdened.

To answer the call of Christ is to find ourselves,

no matter our social location,

 choosing to align ourselves with the causes

of the marginalized, the oppressed,

the outcast, and the isolated,

with the faith that together,

 we might enflesh new possibilities

of healing, of connection,

of freedom from all that destroys.

When these are the desires of our hearts,

we open ourselves to God.

Jesus said - Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

And so let us come to the table,

expectant, eager, open

to tasting the rich blessings of heaven

born from unexpected places, and people, and experiences.

In this meal,

we remember the life, death, and resurrection of

the One who still takes on flesh among us today.

On the night he would be arrested,

Jesus gathered his friends and companions.

In the midst of a tense and dangerous time,

they found each other at table,

connecting over the story of God-enfleshed among them.

And as they did so, Jesus took bread, gave thanks to God, broke the bread and shared it with his disciples saying,

"Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.

Do this in remembrance of me."

When the supper was over, he also took the cup, gave thanks to God, and shared it with his disciples, saying,

"Drink from this, all of you; this is the cup of the new covenant.

Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

Christ has died

Christ is risen

Christ will come again

And so we pray, come Holy Spirit,

Breath of God, renewer of life,

settle on these gifts and all who gather here,

 that we might be transformed in our remembrance

of your radical love,

your eternal embrace,

and your grace that makes all things news.

The table of bread and wine is now to be made ready.

So come to this table,

you who have much faith 

and you who would like to have more; 

you who have been here often,

and you who have not been for a while

you who have tried to follow Jesus,

and we who have failed;


It is Christ who invites us to meet him here.

Share bread and wine (music playing)

[Eucharistic prayer from]


you are invited to light a candle for those excluded or at the edges

Blessing: Jonny

May the extravagant love of God the Father

fill your hearts and minds and his embrace hold you

when you feel unworthy to be called his son or daughter.

May the friendship of Jesus Christ your brother

rid you of any notion that you are only a slave

and you find your home in and with him in his kingdom.

May the Spirit of god release you

from a world of duty

so that a new joy and freedom wells up in your life.

Go and reconfigure the world as an order of embrace
in your friendships,

 in your work place,

 in your families,

 in your street,

and in your churches.

And the blessing of God the Father,

the Son,

and the Holy Spirit 

be among you,

and remain with you always


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