Worldwide Communion Sunday
VISUAL ARTS (PARAMENTS, GENERAL DECORATIONS, SPECIFIC DECORATIONS)
CALL TO WORSHIP
O come, let us worship and bow down
Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For the Lord is our God
And we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.
O that today you would listen to listen to his voice.
Yes, we will listen to the voice.
—based on Acts 10; 1 Chronicles 16:23-24; Psalm 33:8; Psalm 96:1
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.
—1 Chronicles 16:29-31
One: Ascribe to the Lord the glory due God’s name;
Many: Bring an offering, and come before God.
One: Worship the Lord in holy splendor;
Many: Tremble before God, all the earth.
One: The world is firmly established;
Many: It shall never be moved.
One: Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
Many: And let them say among the nations, “The Lord is king!”
—based on Acts 17:26-28
One: From one person our Lord made all nations to inhabit the whole earth.
Many: We come from north, south, east, and west to worship his Holy Name
One: God is not far from each one of us.
Many: In God we live, move, and have our being.
One: God made us one in Jesus Christ.
Many: We celebrate God’s presence in multiple languages and cultures.
Today we have the opportunity to appreciate and celebrate the uniqueness of his church, where diversity and difference reflect his glory and unity. We rejoice in the mystery of God and the amazing way in which Christ reflects God’s glory.
Today God’s people all over the world are called to the table where all nations and tribes are fed by Christ.
From all races, ethnicities, languages, and cultures we are called to worship together the God that offers open arms to anybody.
From all ages—children, young adults, women, men, and elders—we are called to join in a community where God’s people live and serve one another.
From all economic stations, from all denominational affiliations, from all political perspectives we are called to honor the king of kings who is the only one who rules with perfect justice.
In all situations we may find ourselves in, we are called to a journey where God’s love and hope are the essential ingredients for bringing peace into a shattered and fragmented world.
MUSIC (HYMNS, SONGS, ANTHEMS)
Opening: Laudate omnes gentes Taize [ Thuma Mina #134]
Bani ngyeti Ba Yawe (Let us praise the Lord) Cameroon [ Thuma Mina #2]
Het bot ba to ba’a (Where two or three) Cameroon [ Thuma Mina #4]
Communion: For the Bread Which You Have Broken (Tune name: Beng-Li)
The lyrics are in #508 and #509 of Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs(HPSS). But the tune above is composed by a famous Taiwanese musician I-to Loh. It sounds like a traditional Chinese tune on the pentatonic scale. It reflects well the mystery of the communion.
Let Us Break Bread Together (HPSS #513)
Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ (HPSS #514)
“How Great is Our God” by Kris Tomlin (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBD18rsVJHk)
“Bigger Than My Imagination” by Marcos Witt (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op8xmeNFsjQ)
CALL TO CONFESSION
John 3:16 and 17 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Let us confess our sins and claim this promise.
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.
Here these words from the Prayer of Manesseh:
O Lord, according to your great goodness
you have promised repentance and forgiveness
to those who have sinned against you,
and in the multitude of your mercies
you have appointed repentance for sinners,
so that they may be saved.
Let us confession our sins to God with these words of old.
—based on James 4:17
In the same way that scripture declares that we are one in Christ, it also declares that anyone who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it commits sin. Knowing that God is compassionate and merciful, let us confess our sins.
Let us have a silent moment to think about the ways in which we contribute to the fragmentation in our families, in our church, in our community, our society, our nation, and in all nations.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
God, we are big. We are too big to recognize you and glorify the Great Creator.
God, we are arrogant. We are too arrogant to know that we live only by the grace of God
and the help of those who surround us.
God, we are small. We are too small in our hearts to let others come into our community and live together.
God, we are narrow. We are too narrow in our judgment to appreciate righteousness and beauty
in those who are different from us.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
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
The sins I have committed are more in number than the sand of the sea;
my transgressions are multiplied, O Lord, they are multiplied!
I am not worthy to look up and see the height of heaven
because of the multitude of my iniquities.
I am weighted down with many an iron fetter,
so that I am rejected because of my sins, and I have no relief;
I have provoked your wrath and have done what is evil in your sight,
setting up abominations and multiplying offenses.
Now I bend the knee of my heart, imploring you for your kindness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge my transgressions.
I earnestly implore you, forgive me, O Lord, forgive me!
Do not destroy me with my transgressions!
Do not be angry with me forever or store up evil for me;
do not condemn me to the depths of the earth. (Allow time for silent confession)
Compassionate God, even when we know you created all human beings in your image, we recognize that we have failed to see your image in others. Violence, inequality, and injustice come as a result of our own barriers, and prejudices based on beliefs, race or culture separate us from others. It is because of our trespasses and failure to do right that we have forgotten to love others, especially those who are different from us. In your mercy, grant us your forgiveness that we may love others understanding that you loved us first. In Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
Congregation: O God, we declare that you are light, that there is no darkness in you, and that on the contrary, spiritual darkness is in us.
Leader: We are here to confess our sins to you. We have broken the old commandment that we heard from the beginning: to love you and to love one another.
Leader and Congregation: We allowed pride in our lives and withheld forgiveness from those who wronged us. We pretended to walk in the light, but we have been a stumbling block to our fellow believers. We have missed our path of light, allowing and promoting fragmentation, hate, pride, and division—in our families, in our communities, and among the nations.
Having been blinded by the darkness, we ask for forgiveness. We ask that you create in us a clean heart, that you renew a loyal spirit in us, and that you make us willing to obey you. Have mercy on us, O God, because of your unfailing love, because of your great compassion.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
1 John 1:7
If we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
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.
The Prayer of Manesseh goes on to say this:
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent,
and in me you will manifest your goodness;
for, unworthy as I am, you will save me according to your great mercy,
and I will praise you continually all the days of my life.
For all the host of heaven sings your praise, and yours is the glory forever.
Friends, believe the good news. In Christ Jesus we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!
—based on Colossians 3
Listen to the good news. In Christ we are forgiven and renewed in knowledge according to the image of our creator. In that renewal there is no longer man and woman, poor and rich; Christ is all and in all. Clothe yourselves with God´s compassion, kindness, humility, and patience and bring the peace of Christ that is beyond imagination.
Let us share the peace to one another!
—based on 1 John 1:7, 9, 2:2
“The blood of Jesus, God’s son, cleanses us from all sin. But if we confess our sins to God, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. Christ himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only for our sins, but the sins of the world.”
As God’s word affirms:
We have been loved. Let us love.
We have been forgiven. Let us forgive.
We have been blessed. Let us bless.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
SHARING THE PEACE
While we live in this world, we will always encounter crisis and be weighed down by cares. Let us follow the counsel of these words of scripture found in Colossians 3:15: “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
Even as we deal with many different challenges, we trust in God, we seek God, we let our complex lives rest in God’s hands because we know that God will always care for and guide us.
As Christ gave us his peace, let us share that peace with one another as one body.
(Here, the leader may encourage the people to share different gestures and words of peace like Shalom, Irene, paz, taking of hands, hugs, etc.).
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
O God let us hear your message for our world through this scripture reading and your servant’s sermon. Amen.
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.
Open our minds, our hearts and our very souls, so we may hear the word you have for us today. Give us a sense of unity with those Christians gathered around the world waiting to hear the good news and to share in praising your name above all names. Amen.
God of wisdom, on this same day your word is proclaimed in multiple languages and cultures. Your Holy Spirit who speaks all human languages is the one constantly teaching us to understand your word. Open our ears and make your words come alive in our lives. In Christ we pray, Amen.
Father, we trust in the Holy Spirit’s workings in our lives. As we prepare our hearts to listen to your voice, we ask that our spiritual senses be opened. We ask that your word will awaken us to our lives so that we can see as you see and love as you love. Amen.
SCRIPTURE TEXTS/SERMON IDEAS
- Galatians 3:28—There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
- Colossians 3:11—Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
- 1 Corinthians 12:12-30—For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
- Revelation 7:9-10—After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
- Ephesians 4:2-5—There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
- Acts 17:26-28—And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him.
- Isaiah 56:6-8—“And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer;…”
- Hebrews 2:1-14
- Psalm 8:1-9
- Acts 10: 23-43
- Exodus 17:1-7
- Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16
- Psalm 25:1-9
- Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
- Matthew 21:23-32
- Philippians 2:1-13
Of these lectionary scriptures, Philippians may be the most appropriate to preach for this World Communion Sunday. This passage talks about imitating Christ, especially his humility. As we celebrate communion with those around the world, we are all united by Christ—his example, his salvation, his death and resurrection and our eternal life.
- Lamentations 1:1-6
- Psalm 137
- Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4
- Luke 17:5-10
- Romans 12:9-21
- Matthew 5:1-12
- 1 John 3:11-18
SOCIAL MEDIA HELPS (VIDEOS, TAPED SONGS)
INVITATION TO THE TABLE
Jesus said, “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come into you and eat with you, and you with me.” Responding to the invitation, we have gathered here to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. And we celebrate it with all the sisters and brothers on the earth. Keeping in mind that we are a small part of the one large family of God, let us give thanks to the Creator, sharing the body and blood of our Savior in the overwhelming power of Holy Spirit.
Introduction to the Lord’s Table
We are called from different cultural contexts. Together we are invited as the disciples of Jesus Christ. Together we seek to promote reconciliation, love and justice among all persons, classes, races, and nations. All those who trust in Jesus are invited to come and join in the feast of Grace that God has prepared.
—based on the Confession of Faith 6.32
The Story of the Supper
Among friends gathered around a table, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” Later, after they had eaten, he took a cup of wine and said, “This cup is God’s new relationship, made possible by my life and death. Whenever you drink it, do it remembering me.” So now, following Jesus’ example, we take this bread and wine; for in them he has promised to be with us, making us whole, making us one. And in celebration of God’s goodness, let us give thanks.
Prayer of Peace and Words of Institution
We give you thanks, oh Lord
In the midst of the power structure of our society,
We thank you for your creation of equals.
In the midst of the ethnical challenges in our church.
We thank you for our diversities and unity in Christ,
In the midst of our distorted relationships,
We thank you for your gift of life in abundance.
We celebrate you, oh Lord.
For the invitation to a feast where the despised will be guest of honor,
We give you thanks, oh Lord.
The Lord’s Prayer
Sharing of the Gifts of Bread and Cup
Look. Here is your Lord, coming to you in bread and wine.
The gifts of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God.
Prayer after Communion
Our God, you have made us one body no matter where we are from. Cumberland Presbyterians worship you in Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti, Liberia, Hong Kong, Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Japan, Australia, the United States, and other places. Today, you have fed us with the bread of life and renewed us as your servants. God of peace, may this meal, shared in the Spirit with your son Jesus, strengthen us, your people, to engage your ministry. In the holy name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
- Revelation 5:9; 19:9; 21:22-25
In the celebration of communion, the symbol of the table invites us to travel through time. First, we remember the past, as we celebrate the time when Jesus Christ gave the ultimate sacrifice for us. Second, we celebrate the present, as we experience today the fruit of his works—love and salvation. Third, we are encouraged to proclaim the future, when his people from all nations, of all ages, and all affiliations will participate in a tremendous communion together with the lamb of God. We pray and we are thankful for the bread and the wine that represent the blood and body of Christ.
GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
God of the universe, we praise you for all your creation.
You didn’t create us in one form, one color, and one character.
According to your will, we are created differently and uniquely.
Yet you desire us to live together on one planet called the Earth,
sharing all the gifts we receive from you.
When we close our ears and refused to act out your will,
you still loved us and continue to teach us your way.
And when the time was fulfilled, you sent your only son to this world
to show us the fulfillment of your love.
Therefore, we join our voices with all the saints
and the whole creation to sing the glory of your name.
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest
We praise the name of Christ Jesus our Lord.
You came down to the worst of this world,
hurt, exhausted, and distorted by human sins.
You took the heavy burdens that we put on ourselves,
and yet could not carry and carried it all the way to cross.
But that was not the end.
You were raised from the dead
and showed us the eternal victory of the divine love.
We await your coming in the fullness of your sovereign glory
and sing the mystery of faith.
Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.
You tell us that the kingdom of God has come near and that now is the time to repent.
You invite every one of us to this holy table of which you are the host.
You are inviting the people from right and from left,
from north and south, from the high above and from the low below,
from the mountains and from the coast,
from the Eurasian continent and the African soil
and from the Americas and the islands on the Pacific.
Please help us realize we are really the one people,
who are surrounding your holy table.
God of grace, pour out your Spirit upon us,
as we partake your gifts of bread and wine.
May the bread we break and the cup we bless
be the communion of the body and the blood with Christ.
Make us one with Christ, that we may be one with all who share this feast.
And send us out to the world to make a witness as one body of Christ.
Let us pray as Jesus taught us to pray: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
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.
In the midst of all contradictions of life, you remain faithful and close to us, O God.
In the midst of physical, emotional, and spiritual illness your healing hand rests upon us.
In the midst of violence and destruction, you are our peace.
In the midst of ignorance and incredulity, you bring new sight and knowledge.
In the midst of oppression and injustice, you oppose the proud and give grace to the humble.
In the midst of joy and gladness, your Spirit calls us to be thankful.
In the midst of diversity and differences, you, the triune God keep us as one.
It is in your presence Almighty God that we can live trusting that you care for us.
And, it is because of you O God, that we are equipped to help and receive help from others to embrace and face all different circumstances of life.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ in whom we are complete. Amen.
Before the worship service, the leader may wish to make copies of the following declarations, one to a page and numbered. Give one to each of seven different persons from the congregation. At this point in the service, ask each to read their verse aloud, one after the other, in order.
- Because God has comforted us, we can comfort our families and communities.
- Because we have received mercy, we can be merciful with strangers.
- Because even when we were enemies of God, we were loved, and so we can love other nations that are our enemies.
- Because Christ is our peace, we are able to be peacemakers in a world where violence is the culture.
- Because Christ is humble, we are called to be humble in a world where pride is a value.
- Because God is one, the Church is called to be one in a fragmented world.
- Because Christ is perfect justice, we have the responsibility to proclaim his justice in a world governed by injustice.
Unison: We declare that we are not capable of accomplishing these declarations by ourselves, but we know that by the power of your Holy Spirit we are equipped to do so. We open our lives to your power, Holy Spirit. Lead us in the path of love, reconciliation, and hope in this fragmented world. Make your church one so that the world may believe. Amen.
An Affirmation of Faith and Commitment to Witness for Cumberland Presbyterians
We believe in God’s mighty act of reconciling love is accomplished in Jesus Christ, the divine Son who became flesh to be the means by which the sins of the world are forgiven.
We believe that Jesus Christ willingly suffered sin and death for every person. We believe that on the third day after being crucified, Christ was raised from the dead, appeared to many disciples, afterward ascending to God, and makes intercessions for all persons.
We believe the Holy Spirit works through the scriptures, the sacraments, the corporate worship of the covenant community, the witness of believers in word and deed, and in ways beyond human understanding. We believe the Holy Spirit moves on the hearts of sinners, convincing them of their sins and their need for salvation, and inclining them to repentance and faith toward God.
We believe the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, being nurtured and sustained by worship, by proclamation and study of the word, and by the celebration of the sacraments, is commissioned to witness to all persons who have not received Christ as Lord and Savior.
We believe that God gives to the human family a variety of gifts, including gifts to each person for which each has a responsibility. We believe that God desires that each of us engage in the mutual sharing of these gifts so that all may be enriched.
We believe that all who are united to Christ by faith are also united to one another in love. In this communion we are to share the grace of Christ with one another, to bear one another’s burdens, and to reach out to all other persons.
Therefore, we promise and commit ourselves to share the love of God in Jesus Christ by telling others the good news of Jesus and by helping those who suffer and are oppressed.
We promise and commit ourselves to live out our faith at home and in the world by creatively using our gifts, skills and energies in every relationship.
We promise and commit ourselves to care for people outside the church because they are created in God’s image and because Jesus Christ gave his life for all of us.
We promise and commit ourselves to share the good news of Jesus Christ so that others will come to believe in him and want to become a part of God’s covenant family and we will do all we can to welcome new believers as our brothers and sisters.
Footnote: The Confession of Faith for Cumberland Presbyterians sections 3.07, 3.09, 4.02, 5.10, 5.28, and 6.12. The Catechism for Cumberland Presbyterians questions 78-81.
INVITATION TO THE OFFERING
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Let us give to God.
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
—2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Paul raises up the example of the Macedonians—those from another place—to those living in Jerusalem—those who are at home—so that they might learn from them. He says this in 2 Corinthians: “The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.”
May we also learn from those who are far away how to live in our own community. Let us give of our tithes and offerings.
With thankful hearts, let us present our offerings to God!
As we have worshiped God with our hearts, minds, and bodies—with our songs, our prayers, and our presence—let us now honor God by returning part of this provision through our tithes and offerings.
Use these gifts, O God, for the work of your kingdom all over this world. Amen.
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.
Accept these gifts O God as a part of our giving who we are to those who we may or may not know. Cause these gifts to travel near and far helping those who are friends and strangers to know that we love them and are committed to giving sacrificially for them to know who Christ is and what he has done for us all. Amen.
With our offering O God we present our lives. Use our resources to bring your kingdom in practice not only here in this place, but all around the world among all people you have created. In Jesus the Lord we pray, Amen.
Loving God, we present now this offering to you. Help us to use these resources in such a way that hope, reconciliation, and peace are spread throughout this world. Amen.
CHARGE AND BENEDICTION
Here this charge and benediction from Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians: “Brothers and sisters, respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves;.…admonish the idlers, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you….May the God of peace sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and will do this.” Amen.
—Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
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.
Go to the farthest reaches of your world to spread the good news of the gospel,
And to share God’s love with anyone with whom you come in contact.
And as you go,
Go with the God who is Lord over all of the world and its people.
Go with the Son who died for all who have lived, and those who will live in the future.
Go with the Holy Spirit who works tirelessly to unite us
in the communion of fellowship throughout the world.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Amen.
Messengers of the good news of Christ, leave this place with a vision of a better world in which you are agents of transformation for many.
May God bless you as you are, where you are, and with the resources you have, to become a blessing for your family, community, and age in which we live today. Amen.
Congregation or the choir will sing the chorus of the hymn “Here I Am, Lord” by John Michael Talbot (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcxOkht8w7c)
Leader: We have been fed by God’s word. We are now instructed to go into the world. We are sent as sheep in the midst of wolves. Let us be wise enough to discern what is good and right, and let our actions and thoughts manifest the love that we have received.
Congregation or choir: “Here I Am, Lord” (chorus)
Leader: We have been encouraged to live in unity as our God lives as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let us follow God’s unity model in such a way that a fragmented world will see and believe.
Congregation or choir: “Here I Am, Lord” (chorus)
Leader: We have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Let us experience and then reflect this power so that a world full of pride, hate, violence, brokenness, and injustice, through us can experience humility, love, peace, reconciliation, and justice.
Congregation or choir: “Here I Am, Lord” (chorus)
Jesus is blessing us with his glory: With power to overcome evil with good, with love to share with our enemies, with peace with which to comfort others, with the joy we need to deal with adversity, and with courage to proclaim his justice. Amen.