A Liturgy for Worldwide Communion Sunday
The Message of Reconciliation
Call to Worship
We must realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism;
God accepts from every nation the ones who do what is right.
Sing to the Lord all the nations,
Proclaim God’s salvation day after day
Declare God’s glory among the nations,
The Lord’s marvelous deeds among all peoples
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
Let all the people of the world worship the Lord.
Sing to the Lord a new song;
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.
—Based on Acts 10; 1 Chronicles 16:23-24; Psalm 33:8; Psalm 96:1
Call to Confession
When we ask for forgiveness, we are asking for a new opportunity to do what is right. The Lord is giving us this day as a new opportunity to return in prayer. Let us come together before God and confess our sins.
Prayer of Confession
As your Church, we recognize that we have failed to oppose, resist and seek change for all circumstances of oppression—political, economic, cultural, and racial—by which persons are denied the essential dignity you intend for them in the work of creation. As the covenant community we want to ask for forgiveness and affirm the lordship of Christ who sought out the poor, the oppressed, the sick, and the helpless. May your children become advocates for all victims of violence and all those whom the law or society treats as less than persons for whom Christ died. May that advocacy be according to the attitudes and actions which embody the way of Christ, which is to overcome evil with good.
In your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.
—Based on the Confession of Faith 6.30, 6.31, 6.32
Assurance of Pardon
God gives the message and ministry of reconciliation to the Church because in Christ we have been reconciled. Now that we are forgiven, we must seek and promote reconciliation, love and justice among all persons, classes, races and nations. With kindness, humility, and patience, let us share the peace of Christ with one another.
Prayer for Illumination
Merciful God, you have blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing found in heavenly places. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. In your mercy strengthen our faith and bless us through the message of your word today. Amen.
Scripture Possibilities for the Sermon
- Hebrews 2:1-14
- Psalm 8:1-9
- Acts 10: 23-43
Prayers of the People
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in Christ we are new creatures. In Christ, the new Adam we are also called to care for creation and our neighbor. We present before you all nations that are suffering due to civil strife, slavery, oppression, destruction of natural resources, and political and economic exploitation. You have promised that in the consummation of history, at the coming of Jesus Christ, the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdom of the Lord and of the Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever. Amen.
Invitation to the Offering
The motive for Christian stewardship is gratitude for God’s abundant love and mercy, accompanied by the desire to share all of God’s good gifts with others. Let us present our offerings before God.
—Based on the Confession of Faith 6.11
Living God, we present our offerings as gifts to be shared with others and with your Church to support and increase the ministry of reconciliation around the world through the message of the good news of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Charge and Benediction
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
—Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)