God’s Banquet is coming. A time when all will gather from North, East, West and South. A banquet where the rich and powerful will sit with the weak and poverty-stricken. A table where young and old will learn from each other. A time when all will sit together in peace, “and the wolf will lie down with the lamb”.
Here at this table we get a foretaste of God’s banquet. This is indeed God’s table, not the church’s, and so all who seek to follow The Way are welcome to eat and drink from it. Come and taste the grace eternal, come and see that God is good.
The Spirit of God be with you. And also with you.
It is time to give thanks to God. Let us pray.
God of the table, as we gather to taste your banquet we offer prayers of thanksgiving,
In this season of harvest we give thanks for the fruit of the earth, for the food on our tables.
In this global village we give thanks for our brothers, sisters, and neighbours both near and far.
In this world of strife and broken relationships we give thanks for your Hope, for the ways your draw us together.
God of the banquet, we give thanks for your witness and work in the world across the ages.
We remember Moses and Miriam and the people they led to freedom.
We remember the prophets who arise over and over again to call your people back to the narrow path.
We remember the countless saints who have gone before us, preparing the path, and we join our voices to theirs in hymns of thankfulness and praise. Holy Holy is your name indeed. Amen.
And in the midst of our thankfulness we remember the one in whose name we gather, Jesus, child of Mary.
We thank you for his witness, for his commitment to your Way, for the way he brought healing to broken spirits and broken bodies.
Thankfully we remember his death, his resurrection, and his promised return for the Banquet of Grace.
And now, as we gather at the table, we remember the last meal he shared with his friends. How they gathered in an upper room to celebrate the story of liberation and freedom. How he took bread, blessed it, broke it, and passed it among them saying, “Take, eat. This is my body broken for you. When you eat this remember me and look for the hope in your world.”
Then later he took the cup. He blessed it and passed it saying, “This cup is the cup of the new covenant, made in my death. Whenever you drink from it, remember.”
And so, God of Cross, Empty Tomb, and Banquet, we remember the life and death of Jesus and we give thanks for the love he poured out on all he met: sinner and saint, leper and clean, Jew and Gentile. We remember and we share that great and terrible mystery: Christ has died, Christ has Risen, Christ will come again. Amen.
God, you call us to eat and drink together. You call us to let the Spirit wash through our lives. As we eat and drink may we feel the fire of the Spirit in our bellies, the wind of the Spirit in our hair, and the love of the Spirit in our hearts. May the Spirit's presence make this meal one that changes us and, through us, the world. Amen.
God of the Banquet that is and is to come, we gather with your people all around the world to remember and share this meal. Creator, Source of Love, Christ, Love incarnate, Spirit, Love’s flowing power be praised. Now and forever. So Be It. And the people all cried Amen. Amen
And now, like children racing into their mother’s arms we say together: Our Father, who art in heaven…
The Bread we break is the Bread of Life.
The Cup we Share is the Cup of Love.
These are the gifts of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.
Come and eat, the banquet awaits.
Prayer Following Communion
We have eaten, we have drunk, we have tasted your goodness. May this meal we have shared here today fill our souls with Love. May the meal we share with all the world fill the world with Hope. May we leave this table refreshed and replenished, ready to be recipients and agents of Grace. Amen.