April 9, 2020 Holy Thursday - Worship and Devotions with Holy Communion

Holy Thursday: Comfort Food: A Feast of Love

For use in this time of sheltering in place as people are not able to gather in community for Holy Communion by Dr. Marcia McFee

 

Words of Introduction: When we “break bread” together as a church in our worship, we remember that Jesus invited folks to his table as part of his ministry, not just at the Last Supper. So here is an option to break bread together with whatever we have at our homes, preparing our favorite comfort foods. This can be done at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

 

Call to Worship:

A table is set before us. A feast is prepared for us.
The Lord calls us to serve and to be served.
We will never forget Christ’s example.
We will never forget the full extent of his love.

Christ’s love shows us who we are to be, and what we are to do.
How blessed we are to know such love!

 

Scripture Lesson: Read Luke 14: 15-24

Jesus used the parable of a great banquet to which all people are invited in order to talk about what the kingdom of God, the family of God, looks like. He said, “Go to the highways and back alleys and urge people to come in so that my house will be filled.” He often invited the most unlikely guests to his meal-times, confounding the disciples. In this way, he was encouraging a deep love and connection beyond social norms. He knew that we humans need connection and inclusion. Jesus comforts us, saying “you have a place at the table” and Jesus challenges us to make sure we are doing the same–that all people know they are welcome in our hearts, in our homes, in our churches–even if we can’t physically be with each other right now.

 

It is difficult in this moment not to be near some of the people we love and might be worried about. Take a moment and say out loud the names of people you wish were right there next to you at your table today.

 

Every time we as the Church gather around a table and we call Jesus to mind, he is present with us in Spirit. And so too, our loved ones are with us. Let this be a comfort to us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer for Others:

And may we also take time to pray for those who need God’s comfort:

For those who have lost loved ones (pause)

For those who are sick and recovering (pause)

For those who are caring for loved ones who are sick at home (pause)

For those who are caring for persons in medical care (pause)

For those who are separated from loved ones (pause)

For those who are feeling alone and isolated (pause)

For those who are helping and are so very tired (pause)

For those who are struggling to find friends, food, and comfort (pause)

For those who are afraid (pause)

And for any others that need our prayers. (pause)

 

Lord, in your mercy, receive our thoughts and concerns, may your Spirit of Compassion and Presence be upon those we mentioned out loud or silently this day. Amen.

 

Blessings at the Table:

Blessings at the table are part of our Judeo-Christian heritage. Indeed, Jesus adapted his Jewish ritual blessing spoken before and after meals. He asked us to remember him whenever we break bread and raise a cup in thanksgiving. This is why we call our communion prayers the “Great Thanksgiving.” In this feast of love and comfort, we can call to mind things for which we are deeply grateful. Take a moment to speak aloud a couple of things that you are grateful for in this moment.

 

And now raise a plate of “something” on your table, or a glass of whatever you are drinking, and let us bless it in this way, at home: Holy Comforter, we gather in your name, invited by Jesus, bound together with your Spirit in union with each other. Feed our bodies and our spirits with your comforting presence so that we might be your comfort to others. Bless this food and break open our hearts bless this drink and pour out your love. Amen

 

As you pass and fill your plates, getting ready to continue to eat your comfort food imagine what extravagant love looks like as you reach across the social distance to loved ones, to friends, and even acquaintances or strangers.

 

Benediction:

And now may you shelter in your home with peace. And may the peace and comfort of Christ be present with you now and forevermore. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 
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