The following is a Prayer of Thanksgiving for Eucharist or Holy Communion on the Third Sunday of Easter this coming weekend.
Holy and Wise God,
whose presence is made known in light and darkness,
whose promises are made complete in reconciling love,
whose power is made perfect in weakness,
whose possibilities are made tangible in new signs of life,
we gather around this table in thanksgiving and praise.
We thank you for the beauty of this earth,
for the gifts of communion and community
for the bonds of love among friends and family,
for the blessings of this one precious and holy life.
We praise you that in Jesus Christ
we are able to see and experience life in its fullness.
Jesus walked this life with his friends along many paths.
Jesus talked with people who didn’t attend synagogue;
yet he considered them good candidates for the kingdom.
Jesus ate with sinners, met with troubled people,
and didn’t bother checking with those self-appointed
to uphold what is good and right and holy.
Jesus was a rabble-rouser, a loose cannon, a troublemaker;
in his worldview God’s Realm of indiscriminate grace
was far more important than any human institution.
Jesus took simple bread and declared it to be holy.
Jesus told us we would do well to eat this meal in solidarity
with all who hunger and don’t have enough to eat.
Jesus said hunger is not God’s plan for humanity,
unless it is hunger for the kingdom, hunger to be whole.
And he said, those who truly know God
open their eyes to the troubles others endure;
they hunger and thirst for just relationships with all.
So this is a symbolic meal, even though it is more.
The suffering of Jesus is laid before us in his body and blood.
The hope of Christ is spread before us in symbols
of the eternal banquet where all are welcome,
all are blessed,
and all receive the saving grace of an extravagant God.
Thanks be to God for these wonderful gifts
that draw us into the presence of the risen Christ,
whose Spirit is alive and working in the midst of this community,
whose power is felt in the sharing of this amazing grace.
Words (c) 2014 Mark Lloyd Richardson
Photo (c) 2014 Dallis Day Richardson