Presider: O come, Emanuel, into our longing hearts.
People: We lift our hearts to You
Presider: As we gather around this table
People: In expectation and hope.
Presider: We embrace all that is holy as we sing: (Sanctus)
Co-Presider: In this season of waiting, of shorter, darker days, and of preparation for Christmas, we hear of the coming of Jesus.
Speaker 1 – We hear from the prophets of God’s new straight path in the desert and of the hoped for shepherd to feed his flock.
Speaker 2 – We hear from John the Baptist of one coming after him, one who will baptize with Holy Spirit.
Speaker 3 – We hear from Jesus of signs and omens, heralding a sudden coming of the Son of Man, the Son of God, and we are warned to be ready.
Speaker 4 – We hear from the angel of the baby, conceived by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, who will be a king, a prince of peace who will save his people.
Co-Presider: As we open our hearts to this coming, and puzzle as to its meaning for us and for the world, we can’t help but remember the rest of the story. Even as we celebrate Jesus’ birth, we remember his life, his teachings and healings and compassion. Even as we remember the beginning, we know well of Jesus’ suffering and death and Resurrection.
Presider: We remember how, on the night before he died, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat, this is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Co-Presider: We remember how, after supper, he took the cup of wine, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink this, all of you; this is my blood poured out for you and for everyone. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.
Presider: By the power of the Holy Spirit, may this bread and wine be the body and blood of Christ for us. May we receive them as symbols of Jesus who came long ago and who comes to us still as God’s power in our humanity to fire our hearts and minds and wills for love and service. AMEN
Co-Presider: And now, as Jesus has taught us, we pray
The Breaking of the Bread
Co-Presider: These gifts of bread and wine, gifts of God for all people.
Presider: Be what you see; receive who you are.
Presider: Let us pray together.
God of all grace, may we live in expectation and hope, and may the gifts we have received at this table remind us not only of the gift of your Christ, but of your steady presence among us, that we may act faithfully in response to your love.
Presider: Life is short, and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel the way with us. So be swift to love, and make haste to be kind, and the blessing of the One who made us and loves us and goes before us be upon you and all those whom you love, this day and always. Amen.
Co-Presider: Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.
People: Thanks be to God.