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Sermon and Liturgy For Ordinary 18 - Proper 13 - Year B
Exodus 16:2-15; Psalm 78:1-16; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35
"The Bread of Heaven"


READING:  Exodus 16:2-15; Psalm 78:1-16; Ephesians 4:1-16; John 6:24-35
SERMON :  "The Bread Of Heaven"

Rev. Richard J. Fairchild
b-or18su.y-b 891 

   The following is a more or less complete liturgy and sermon
   for the upcoming Sunday.  Hymn numbers, designated as VU are
   found in the United Church of Canada Hymnal "Voices United".
   SFPG is "Songs For A Gospel People", also available from the UCC.
   
   Sources: Elements of the Prayer of Approach, Prayers of the People
   and the Departing Prayer are taken from and adapted from John
   Maynard (maynard@sympac.com.au) "Prayers and Litanies For Ordinary
   18; as sent to the PRCL-List, August 01, 2000.  Aspects of the
   Homily concerning the Lord's Supper were also taken from the above
   source (citing "Your Kingdom Come").  The children's story "Who Is
   Number One?" is by Wesley Runk, CSS Plus! Vol. 33, No. 3
   [June/July/Aug 2003]) (http://www.csspub.com) and is reproduced here 
   with permission. Opening quotes in the sermon are from Ralph Milton's 
   "Rumors" (rumors@joinhands.com) as sent Sat, 26 Jul 2003 (for Aug 3
   2003) and from Barry Robinson, (fernstone@fernstone.org) "Yeast For
   Bread" in "Keeping The Faith in Babylon - August 6 2000" 


GATHERING AND MUSICAL PRELUDE                            (* = please stand)


* WORDS OF WELCOME AND CALL TO WORSHIP
L  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, 
   and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
P  And also with you.
L  Come, let us give thanks to God, for God is good. 
P  God's love endures forever. 
L  God gives each of us grace according to the measure of Christ's gift
   so that the his church may be built up in love.
P  God's love endures forever.
L  It is God's will that we all come to the unity of the faith 
   and acquire the knowledge and of the maturity of Christ.
P  God's love endures forever.


* PRAYER OF APPROACH
Let us pray -- Gracious God, we praise your Name and we thank you for your
bountiful and generous love.  We call upon you this day and ask that you
would help us seek the blessings which endure unto eternal life.  Help us
open our hearts to your inward presence, our minds to the messages that
your write upon the passing hours and days, and our soul's to the
refreshing winds of your Spirit.  Feed us with the bread of heaven and
grant that our prayer and our praise might be acceptable unto you -- and
that our words and our actions might glorify you, both now and forevermore. 
Amen


* HYMN:  "Come In, Come In and Sit Down"                           - VU 395



CHILDREN'S TIME: "Who is Number One?"
Theme     Knowing About Number 1
Scripture Ephesians 4:1-16
Object    A number of large "1"s that can be handed out to the children.
Source    Wesley Runk, CSS Plus! Vol. 33, No. 3 [June/July/Aug 2003]) by
          permission.  (http://www.csspub.com)

   "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the
   one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God
   and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all."
   (vv. 4-6)

Good morning, boys and girls.  How many of you like arithmetic? (let them
answer) This is very easy arithmetic.  There is only one number.  I am
going to pass out this number, and I want everyone to take a good look at
it and see if you can tell me what the number is that I am giving you.
Please don't say anything until everyone has his or her number. (hand out
the 1's)  Now, everyone tell me what number you have in your hand. (let
them answer)  Tell me again. (let them answer -- a little louder)  Does
everyone have a "1"?  Very good!  This number 1 stands for something that
is really important.
   
Saint Paul wrote a letter to the people of Ephesus and he told them that
they should learn the number 1.  He told the people that they had one body
and one Spirit.  He said that each one of them had one hope and that hope
was in one Lord.  He said also that each person had one faith and they
should be baptized one time.  He also said there was only one God.  So the
number 1 is very important.
   
Think about it: How many bodies do you have? (let them answer)  None of you
have two bodies, do you?  A body has arms and legs and ears and eyes and a
nose and hair and all of those parts, but there is only one body.  Paul
said you have only one spirit.  Inside, outside, above, and under you there
is only one spirit.  Paul also said that we have one faith, which means the
only Saviour we believe in is Jesus Christ.  We are baptized only one time
and that makes us a part of the family of God.  And Paul said there is only
one God, and we have always known that there is only one God.
   
Sometimes people get it confused.  They say that they are number 1.  They
think that they are so important that they come before Jesus, their faith,
their love of God, and everything else.  But Paul had it right.  He said
hold up that number 1 and believe that your body, spirit, hope, faith,
Lord, and God are all number 1 and everything else is number 2 or 3 or
maybe even 4 or 5.
   
When you go home, I would like for you to take your number 1 and put it
someplace really important, like the refrigerator door or the mirror in
your bedroom or in the window of your car, so that you will always know
that God is number 1. 


PRAYER AND THE LORD'S PRAYER
   Let us Pray: Dear Lord God - you are number one - and you give us
   one body - one hope - one faith, one Lord. - We praise you and thank
   you.  - Help us to always place you first.   Amen 

   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 us our trespasses, as we forgive
   those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but
   deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, the power and the
   glory, for ever and ever.  Amen


* HYMN:  


TIME FOR SHARING JOYS AND CONCERNS: ANNOUNCEMENTS
- Welcome and Announcements     
- Birthdays and Anniversaries      
- Special Matters     
- Sharing Joys and Concerns


TIME OF SILENCE & AN INTROIT FOR THE WORD  (verse 2 - VU 371)
  Open my ears that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear
  and while the wave notes fall on my ear, everything false will disappear.
  Silently now I wait for thee, ready, my God thy will to see.
  Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!


A READING FROM EXODUS 16:2-15
   (NIV)  In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and
   Aaron.  The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the Lord's
   hand in Egypt!  There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food
   we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this
   entire assembly to death." 

   Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for
   you.  The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. 
   In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my
   instructions.  On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in,
   and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days." 

   So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, "In the evening you will
   know that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt, and in the
   morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your
   grumbling against him.  Who are we, that you should grumble against
   us?"  Moses also said, "You will know that it was the LORD when he
   gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the
   morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him.  Who are we? 
   You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD." 

   Then Moses told Aaron, "Say to the entire Israelite community, 'Come
   before the LORD, for he has heard your grumbling.'"  

   While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked
   toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the
   cloud.  The LORD said to Moses, "I have heard the grumbling of the
   Israelites.  Tell them, 'At twilight you will eat meat, and in the
   morning you will be filled with bread.  Then you will know that I am
   the LORD your God.'" 

   That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there
   was a layer of dew around the camp.  When the dew was gone, thin flakes
   like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the
   Israelites saw it, they said to each other, "What is it?" For they did
   not know what it was. Moses said to them, "It is the bread the LORD has
   given you to eat.

L  This is the word of the Lord
P  Thanks be to God.


RESPONSIVE READING:  Psalm 78:1-16 (Voices United 792) 


A READING FROM EPHESIANS 4:1-16
   (NIV)  As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life
   worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and
   gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  Make every
   effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 
   There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope
   when you were called-- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and
   Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  But to each
   one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.  This is why
   it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and
   gave gifts to men." (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also
   descended to the lower, earthly regions?  He who descended is the very
   one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the
   whole universe.)  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be
   prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
   to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of
   Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the
   knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole
   measure of the fullness of Christ.  Then we will no longer be infants,
   tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every
   wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their
   deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in
   all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  From him
   the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament,
   grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


L  This is the word of the Lord
P  Thanks be to God.


SONG:


A READING FROM JOHN 6:24-35
   (NIV)  Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples
   were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of
   Jesus.  When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked
   him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" 

   Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not
   because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had
   your fill.  Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures
   to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  On him God the
   Father has placed his seal of approval." 

   Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" 

   Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has
   sent." 

   So they asked him, "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may
   see it and believe you?  What will you do?  Our forefathers ate the
   manna in the desert; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven
   to eat.'" 

   Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has
   given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the
   true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he who comes down from
   heaven and gives life to the world." 

   "Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread." 

   Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will
   never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

L  This is the Gospel of our Risen Lord
P  Praise be to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


* HYMN:  "All Who Hunger"                                          - VU 460


SERMON: "The Bread Of Heaven" 

   Let us Pray - O God, light of the minds that know you, life of the
   souls that love you, and strength of the thoughts that seek you -
   bless the words of my lips and the meditations of our hearts. 
   Breath into us that we may live in the manner you have appointed
   unto us.  We ask it in Jesus' name.  Amen

Ralph Milton, the author of "This United Church of Ours", said once:

   "When you are out of peanut butter, you are out of food."

How many of you feel that way?   
What, for you, is the bottom line when it comes to food?
That, which for you, is the most needed thing in your diet?
  
Ralph says about peanut butter as being basic food 

   That is a proposition I have defended passionately, and
   unsuccessfully, since as far back as I can remember. When I am
   feeling down, when I've been sick, when I just want a snack, when
   I'm having lunch by myself, I'll have a peanut butter and jam
   sandwich on whole-wheat bread.

   "The peanuts and wheat and fruit are a complete meal," I argue.

   But all I get are those "there goes dad again" indulgent looks as my
   family walk off to be busy with something else.   I've heard people
   use the phrase "comfort food," and I guess that's what a peanut
   butter and jam sandwich is for me.  If I had to survive the rest of
   my life on one thing, that would be it. 

   In English, the word "bread," in some contexts, is synonymous with
   food.  In many East Asian dialects, the word for "rice" and the word
   for "food" are the same.  In some Melanesian languages, the same
   applies to yams. It's whatever is the bottom line.  I's the basic
   thing you need to stay alive.

   Bread is the biblical metaphor for this because bread was the
   staple, basic, bottom-line food of Jesus' time. If Jesus had been
   Melanesian, he would have spoken about yams.

But bread it is.

And bread it was that the crowd was looking for when they sought Jesus on
the other side of the lake  from where he had so recently performed the
miracle of feeding the crowd of thousands with five loaves and two fish -
when they came to Capernaum and said to him -- "Rabbi, when did you get
here".

Note the emphasis on the immediate here, the emphasis on the surface
appearances.

The crowd who gathers in Capernaum do not ask how Jesus got there ahead of
them, even though they knew that he had not gone with disciples in the boat
the evening before, but rather they asked "when did you get here".

And Jesus responds by saying:  "I tell you the truth, you are looking for
                               me, not because you saw miraculous signs
                               but because you ate the loaves and had your
                               fill."

It is good to have your fill of bread.   

Would that all people had their fill each day!  

Would that we with so much bread would share it with those who have none!

Would that, as with the manna from heaven that Israel ate in the wilderness
- there would be food enough for each one of us day by day....  As in fact
there is   for the world food supply is more than adequate to feed every
man, woman, and child upon the planet

But to come to Jesus only for the bread that satisfies our bodies one day
and leaves us hungry the next,
   to turn to him only for the physical and immediate blessings of this
   world
is to miss the significance of who Jesus is,
   and indeed to miss the significance of what life itself is all about.

And Jesus indicates this when he says 

   "you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but
   because you ate the loaves and had your fill" 

and then continues by saying 

   "Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to
   eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you."

In our fears and insecurities it is so easy to miss the deeper meaning of
things.

It is so easy to focus our attention on the gratification of our physical
needs that we forget that there are greater things - things that satisfy
not only the body - but the soul.

Bread is a good image for all this, because bread is important to all of
us.

I mentioned that there is today more than enough bread - more than enough
food - produced in the world to feed everyone on this planet.  Yet
thousands perish each day for lack of food.  They perish, in part, because
of the fears of those who have food   their fear that they will not have
enough - or that if they share their food without price - without cost -
that they will have to live with less.

Think of the sin of it all.  The blindness.  The lack of understanding. 
The lack of trust.  The lack of love.

Farmers are paid by our government to not grow food.
   Marketing Boards order the destruction of accumulated supplies of food 
   so that the prices will not fall below a certain level.
       Large wholesalers of food stuffs toss food out that has come to it's
       expiry date rather than distribute it to places and persons who are
       in need.

We are driven by our sense of need, 
   by our desire to have more for ourselves, 
       and by our inability to imagine any other realm, any other reality,
by which life might be measured   any other sphere from which life itself
might come and to which life itself might return.

Those with the most toys win 
- so says the world.

And so people starve in the midst of plenty.

   "You are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but
   because you ate the loaves and had your fill." 

John's Jewish listeners would have understood all the underlying themes of
chapter six from which this week's gospel reading comes.  Jesus is
identified with the way God conquered the sea at the time of the Exodus and
with the way God fed Israel in the wilderness.  The crowd of thousands is
fed with 5 loaves and two fish.  Jesus comes to the disciples walking upon
the water as they struggle to row across the lake in their storm tossed
boat.

John's purpose - and the purpose of the signs and marvels that Jesus
performs - is to say that Jesus is more than a new Moses; that he has come
to do more than simply lead the people out of physical slavery and into a
land flowing with milk and honey -- that in fact he is one with God and
that he has come to deliver all people from their bondage to sin and death
and to bring to us the fullness of the kingdom of God - wherein lies the
tree whose fruit gives eternal life and the river whose waters gives life
to all people.

The crowd in this week's section of chapter six of The Gospel According To
John seem to miss that.  They see Jesus as simple wonder-worker, as one who
can performs signs and fills stomachs. 

And Jesus is that.

But Jesus also knew that the bread of this earth does not satisfy
   that men, woman, and children will grasp after it and seek 
       - as they did with the manna in the wilderness -
       to acquire more than they need for each day
   and that in the end they will still die;
   and their sin - expressed in their insatiable desires and their refusal
to heed the voice of God will cause others to die.

John wants us to know that Jesus is more than a wonder worker.  That he is
more than one who is able to provide the food that our bodies need - that
food which already exists in abundance upon this earth.  

John wants us to know 
that Jesus came to feed us with what lasts unto eternal life 
that he came to give us the bread of heaven 
that he is in fact the bread of heaven: 
   - the one whom, if we believe in him, is able to nourish us unto
   eternity, 
   - the one who is, in fact, the bread of life.
 
"This is the work God requires", says Jesus, when speaking to the crowd in
Capernaum, the work that provides food that endures to eternal life, 
"to believe in the one he has sent".

And then again 
- when the crowd asks him to give them this bread from now on 
he says

   "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry,
   and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

Look around the world today.  It is like it was so long ago.  It is
populated with people who having their fill of the bread of this earth long
for something more, and who seek that something more - not only in the
pursuit of more earthly blessings, but in the empty spectacles and false
promises provided for them in the pleasure palaces and cultic coliseums of
our world.

The Romans called it "bread and circuses" and their rulers believed that if
they provided enough of each their citizens would be happy and their
civilization would last forever.

And they were wrong.

Clearly there are more important things to seek than the bread of this
   world which spoils and rots,
clearly there is more to life than the pleasures of the flesh which last
   only as long as they indulged - - and if not indulged in ever greater
   doses end up providing no pleasure at all.

   "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry,
   and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."

An incredible statement - to be sure   but as Hamlet says to Horatio in
Shakespeare's play, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
than are dreamt of in your philosophy"

And indeed there are more things than those that eat only the bread of this
earth dream of.   

We are called by God - the giver of life - to eat the bread of life,
that bread provided by him and through him and in him, in Christ Jesus,
that bread that is shared at this table today.

When we receive it by faith and in faith it builds us up in the one who
came to give it to us, the one who was with God at the beginning and
through whom all things were made.

As we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Baptism this morning, we celebrate
the love of God revealed in the life, and death and resurrection of Christ
Jesus and how that love reaches out to embrace all people who would open
themselves to receive it.

And as we celebrate the Lord's Supper today, we celebrate how the one whom
we call the Bread of Life is broken - and given to all who are at the table
- that they may eat and live.

Where peoples are being harshly oppressed,
   the table of the Lord speaks of exodus or deliverance from bondage.

Where believers are rejected or imprisoned for their faith, 
   the Bread and the Cup reveals the life of the one who was rejected by
   people  but has become "the chief stone of the corner".

Where discrimination by race, sex or class is a danger for the community,
   the table of Christ enables people of all sorts to partake of one food
   and to be made one people.

Where people are affluent and at ease with life, the Bread and the Cup say,
   "As Christ shares His life, share what you have with the hungry."

Where a congregation is isolated by politics or war or geography, the 
   Lord's Supper unites us with all God's people in all places and all
   ages.

Where a sister or brother is near death, the Last Supper becomes a doorway
   into the Kingdom of our loving Father.

Today, let us go past the surface appearances of this world  and the
immediacy of our physical needs and celebrate the one who brought this
world's life out of the deep unordered waters of creation, and who in
Christ Jesus gives us the bread of heaven that we may eat and never die.

The waters of baptism are poured that we may become one with the one who
gave his life for us.

The table of the Lord is set so that together we may be made strong in this
world and prepared to enter the world to come.

Blessed be the name of the Lord, day by day.  Amen


* HYMN:  "Out of Deep Unordered Water"                             - VU 453


THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY BAPTISM
- Words of Introduction
- Presentation and Promises of Parents
- Profession of Faith and Congregational Promise 
- The New Creed (VU 918 or inside cover)
- Blessing of Water and Act of Baptism
- Presentations and Prayer


PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
We give you thanks today, O Lord, for welcoming Kaley into your family this
day.  Bless Nona as she raises her up before you and put upon them both the
fullness of your love that they may indeed eat and be satisfied and drink
and never thirst.   Lord, hear our prayer....

Loving God, you who are both near at hand, immanent in our lives, and far
away, causing our spirits and imagination to soar outwards and upwards
beyond ourselves; cause us ever to yearn for the bread of  your immediate
presence instead of just the gifts you have for us.  Help us to see and
grow beyond the immediacy of our needs and wants.  Help us to recognize the
holy ground we walk on each day, the burning bushes we rush past, the
silent cries and salty tears shed by our hurting brothers and sisters. 
Purge us of our selfishness and shape us into fitting stones for your
temple, the Body of Christ...  Lord, hear our prayer....

Loving God - as we come to your table this day, help us to recognize the
food and drink you have provided here for us and to receive it in faith and
hope... Lord hear our prayer...

Loving God, you call us to labour for those things which endure, to work
for that which truly satisfies.  We pray today for this.  Make us ones who
allow you to work in and through us to make right things that are wrong,  
to give your hope to the lost, to bring your wisdom to those who are
confused, and to gather to you those who need your healing and saving
touch...Lord, hear our prayer...

Loving God, we lift up before you those whom you have placed upon our
hearts this day.  Hear O Lord now our prayers for those whose whom we name
before you at this time:

   BIDDING PRAYER......    .... Lord, hear our prayer....
              
Loving God, hear our prayers too for  
 - St. Andrew's and for each member of our congregation,
 -  for the United Church of Canada and for all those who serve the
   various congregations across Canada or who work in mission with foreign
   churches and helping agencies around the world. 
 - Bless too we pray the Commissioners and all who gather this month for
   our 38th General Council and lead them in their deliberations and
   decision making
...Lord, hear our prayer...

God of Grace, Truth and Love, hear all our prayers both the spoken and the
unsaid.  Fill your people with confidence and joy, and bring us with your
saints to life everlasting; through Christ Jesus our Lord.   Amen


* SHARING GOD'S BLESSINGS: As the Offering is presented all stand for the
Doxology (Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow - VU 541) and Prayer of
Dedication

   Most Holy One - you who feed us with the bread of heaven and that
   which has been worked upon by human hands -- we offer these gifts in
   thankfulness.  We pray that we might be so united with you that we
   might give as you give and love as you love.  We offer to you now, O
   God, not only these tithes and offerings, but our very selves - in
   the name of your blessed son, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. 
   Amen


* PASSING THE PEACE  We greet one another with a sign of peace  and words
                     like "The peace of the Lord be with you".  This
                     ancient tradition is an appropriate response to the
                     peace that God gives those who hear and do his word and is
                     a symbol of our reconciliation to God and one another.


* COMMUNION HYMN:   "I The Lord of Sea and Sky"                    - VU 509


COMMUNION LITANY
L  The peace of God be with you.
P  And also with you.
L  Lift up your hearts.
P  We lift them up to the Lord.
L  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
P  It is right to give God thanks and praise.


-- Prayer of Thanksgiving
Blessed are you gracious God, Creator of light, Giver of all, Source of
love.  You guide the sun, cradle the moon and toss the stars.  As your word
the earth was made and spun on its course among the planets.  You breathe
life into us and set us among all your creatures, in a covenant of love and
service.  Even when we turn away from you, you do not forsake us.  You send
your prophets to proclaim your justice, to reminds us of your promise of
peace, and to call us back to you.

Creator, Christ, and Spirit one, we praise you for your love revealed to us
in Jesus, who walks with us, our Wisdom and our Way, our Bread and our
Wine.  In him we recognize the fullness of your grace, and through his
death and resurrection we make bold to come before - knowing that it was
and is his will that we be made one before you - one in his righteousness
and power, in his holiness and love.  We thank you, Lord, for how in dying
he destroyed our death and in rising he restored our life.  Wherefore we
praise you and set before you this table - the table he first prepared for
us on the night that he was betrayed to his death.


-- Words of Institution
We remember how, on that night, Jesus took bread, and after thanking you
for it, as we now thank you for  our daily bread, he then broke it, and
gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take this, all of you, and eat.  This is
my body which will be given up for you.".  We remember too, how when supper
was ended he took the cup and again gave you thanks and praise, and then
gave the cup to his disciples, saying:  "Take this, all of you and drink
from it.  This is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting
covenant.  It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be
forgiven.  Do this in memory of me."


-- Prayer of Consecration and The Lord's Prayer
Loving God, you give us the true bread that comes down from heaven, your
Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Grant that as we receive him into our lives we
may be filled with the fullness of his love and abide in him as He abides
in us.   Send your Holy Spirit, we pray, upon these gifts, that the bread
we break may be for us communion in his body, and the cup of blessing which
we bless may be for us communion in his blood, we ask this in his name. 
Amen.


SHARING THE ELEMENTS  (Please come forward along the centre aisle to receive
the body and blood of our Lord)


DEPARTING PRAYER
L  Father and Mother of all, we give you thanks and praise that when we
   were still far off you met us in your son and brought us home. 
P  Dying and living, he declared your love, 
   gave us grace, and opened the gate of glory.  
L  May we who share Christ's body live His risen life; 
   we who drink His cup bring life to others.
P  Keep us in this hope that we have grasped; 
   so we and all your children shall be free, 
   and the whole earth live to praise Your Name.
L  Grant that your church may show forth in all her actions 
   the death and resurrection of Christ our Lord.  Amen


* DEPARTING HYMN:  "All The Way My Saviour Leads Me"               - VU 635


* COMMISSIONING:  In the power of the Holy Spirit we now go forth into the
   world, to fulfil our calling as the people of God, the body of Christ.


* BENEDICTION AND THREEFOLD AMEN (VU 971)
Go in peace, love and care for one another in the name of Christ;
- and may God grant to you a heart that is open to his mercies and the eyes
to see and the ears to hear that which he is doing 
- may the Lord pour down upon you the Bread that Satisfies and equip you by
the power of the Holy Spirit to share what you have received with one
another
- both now and forevermore.  Amen.


* CHORAL BLESSING:  "Go Now In Peace"                              - VU 964


copyright - Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 2003
            please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.



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