Gathering, Greeting and Call to Worship

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit
be with you all.
And also with you.

Long before we came to call this place home, ancient people gathered the food of this land. They were well fed here in body and soul by the gracious provision of God.

To the hungry souls of this land today,
Jesus says: I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.

As we gather here for Holy Communion today, let’s sing about this:

Eat this bread, drink this cup, come to me and never be hungry.
Eat this bread, drink this cup, trust in me and you will not thirst.

Come one and all, come young and old,
come to be fed here today
in Word and Sacrament
by the bread of heaven.

Eat well, drink deeply.

Our focus through this service is Jesus the bread of life. Our worship will culminate in the Holy Communion feast. And so let’s begin today by setting the table for our meal with the bread of life and the cup of blessing.

Ian Ferguson, 5/8/18, Pentecost 11

Prayers of Adoration & Confession

Jesus, Bread of Life, we praise and worship you.

Your spirit gladdens our hearts minds and bodies,
like the rich aroma of a fresh baked loaf.

You bring us the soul food that we need,
like the staple nourishment of daily bread.

You reveal God’s love for us and for all the world,
like bread that bears the imprint
of the baker’s strong, caring, creative hands.

Your body was wounded and torn for us.
But just as bread is broken to be shared,
so your life and love live on in our community.

Jesus we are hungry,
in need of your mercy and grace,
for we have not loved one another
as you have loved us.
We confess the frailty of our loving
and pray to be forgiven and transformed,
like flour kneaded, leavened, baked
and risen into lifegiving bread.
We pray by your Spirit. Amen

Jesus said, “The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”

Feed on the bread of life in Christ’s word of grace:
Your sin is forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

Ian Ferguson, 5/8/18, Pentecost 11

Prayers of the people – For, Be, Live

Written on a florist shop window in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy is the following quote by writer and philosopher Albert Camus:
“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer”

God of all,
Light of our winter days,
Invincible summer,
Meet us here and embrace our prayers, we ask.

For the earth in all its beauty:
for open, azure skies;
for the watercolour brushstrokes of pale sunset;
for winds that chill as if to sharpen our sense of being alive,
and the hint of spring on days of unexpected warmth…
For the dreams we dream for a better world that might match its beauty –
sustain us in our hope we pray.

For lives shattered by earthquakes this week;
for those touched by loss and grief from burning wildfires;
for countries broken by corrupt elections
the promise of a new day, shattered;

Be present in the hands of those who heal and restore;
who work for peace and struggle beside the poor for justice and dignity;
erode the vain pride of the powerful by your restless spirit of goodness and right.

Here are our hands- use them, we pray

Be present in your church:
in our shared communion of love;
in our hearts of good intent;
in our rooms of debate, reasoned and unreasoned and all too human,
be the clear and present spirit of compassion.

Be our freedom, when challenged by temptation;
Be our North Star;
Be our guiding light;
Be our refuge when courage fails us
And the quiet voice that calls us out and on and into the journey once more
We are your church, lead us, we pray.

Love among us, here in our community, here in this place
Live your peace through us so that others see light in darkness:
live lively;
live gently;
alive in the small silent minutes of our mornings,
and the exhausted hours of day’s end;
alive in the distant echo of a skateboard’s wheels,
the excited chatter of children on their way home from school,
the comfort of a cuppa.
We live,
we laugh,
we weep,
we dream,
riding the coughs that plague us, the news that flattens us,
The tomorrows that ‘might be’ that distract us;
yet you move within us and happiness creeps under our door,
A slip of light, a warming glow, a knowing – an ‘invincible summer’.

This is our lot, our life, our little box of days and dreams of ‘all sorts’,
But we ‘don’t forget who we belong to’.
and, our God, as present as the scent of a fresh-baked loaf,
we are thankful.
Living bread, leaven of life,
rise within us.

Peter McKinnon, 5/8/18, Pentecost 11