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World Communion Sunday Worship Service

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A Call to Worship for World Communion Sunday
  
Leader:            Today we gather around God's table from near and far
People:            We are the People of God!
Leader:             Though we differ in language, custom, and tradition
People:            We are brothers and sisters in Christ!
Leader:             For there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism
People:            We are One in God's Spirit!
Leader:             We are one and together we remember our Lord Jesus
People:            For we are the people of Redemption!
Leader:             He gave himself up for us, so we could be
                        reconciled to God.
People:            Come, let us worship the God of our Salvation!

Opening Hymn:
Lift Every Voice and Sing
The Church's One foundation
Christian People Raise Your Song
O God of Every Nation
This is the Feast of Victory

Readings: John 6:51-58; Galatians 3:26-29, Ephesians 4:1-6; John 17:6-26

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Devotion: One God, One People
based on Galatians 3:26-29
by Rev. Frank Schaefer
________________________________________________

 

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.   Galatians 3:26-29


When I think of World Communion Sunday, I get excited about the fact that tens of thousands of Christian brothers and sisters around the world are coming to the Lord's Table to remember our Lord and to proclaim his final victory to the world.

It doesn't matter what part of the world we're hailing from, because from God's perspective there are no political, ethnic, cultural or national boundaries. From God's perspective we are One people, the People of God! 
 

One of the things that excites my about church history is that the first-century church believed that Christ’s church stands for a radical inclusion of all of God's children. They believed that all those barriers we as humans work so hard to build, God in Christ broke through. In an anonymous letter that survived from the early 2nd century addressed to Diognetus, a Roman official, the author actually speaks about Christianity as a "new race:"


The Mystery of the New People
To His Excellency, Diognetus: I understand, sir, that you are really interested in learning about the religion of the Christians, and that you are making an accurate and careful investigation of the subject....

... You would also like to know the source of the loving affection that they have for each other. You wonder, too, why this new race or way of life has appeared on earth now and not earlier. These three questions are dealt with in the text, more or less in order, but with some overlapping. The reference to the "New [third] Race" calls attention to an issue of great importance for the life of the Early Church, which concerned such varied questions as the Church's understanding of its vocation in history and the Roman world's attitude toward the Church.

And that should be the message of the church worldwide “You are welcome here—every single one of you! For God's grace is enough for all! God's love is poured out to all, and whosoever believes shall be saved” (John 3.16). Whosoever!

With the arrival of the church of Jesus Christ a new age has dawned. Nobody ever needs to feel excluded again; for, as St. Paul says it: “all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Brothers and sisters, Paul clearly declares to us that there are no second-class Christians; if you are a baptized believer you’re all the way in the inner sanctum; you are in the holy of holies; the veil has been torn. Everyone is welcome and everyone is equal in God’s eyes. We are all children of God. We are to be one in Christ; we are to be the new race made up of a multitude of diverse people.

We are one and in our oneness lies our strength; in our oneness will the world see the difference in us—through our love with the world see the love and grace of Jesus Christ.  Happy World Communion Sunday!
 


World Communion Prayer of Confession

Lord, on this world communion Sunday, help us examine our hearts so that we may pay proper respect to Christ's sacrifice on the cross.  Thank you for offering reconciliation to all of humankind, the forgiveness of sins through Christ, our high priest.

Almighty and ever-present God, we confess our sins to you. We are truly sorry for our wrongdoings and shortcomings, for sins of commission and sins of omission.     Forgive us, we pray, in Christ's name.

Empower us to serve you fully, to share the resources we have with those who have less, to weep with those who weep, and to laugh with those who laugh. Help us to be good stewards over the earth you have placed in our care; help us to unite in love and concern for one another, not just in our local community, but with brothers and sisters in all the    world.

As we draw near to your holy table we thank you, Lord, for providing the Bread of Life for us.  As we partake, impart on us your grace and mercy, unite us with Christ, our Lord, and with one another.  May your kingdom be established in all the earth.    Amen.

 

"Your Sacred Table"
adapted from a prayer by St. Francis de Sales

Divine Savior,
we come to Your sacred table to nourish ourselves,
     not with bread but with Yourself, true Bread of eternal life.

Help us daily to make a good and perfect meal of your divine nourishment. Let us be continually refreshed by the perfume of Your kindness and goodness.

May the Holy Spirit fill us with His Love. Meanwhile, let us prepare a place for this holy food by emptying our hearts. Amen.

Communion

Closing Hymn:

The Bread of Life For All is Broken
Draw Us in the Spirit's Tether
Become to Us the Living Bread
Forgive Our Sins As We Forgive
Help Us Accept Each Other
Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Knees
You Satisfy the Hungry Heart

 

Closing Prayer:

Blessings Upon You
adapted from a prayer by Margaret A. Davidson

Blessings upon you, upon those you love
and those you shall never know.

Blessings upon your steps
and upon the vision of your eyes.

Blessings upon you in all circumstances;
joy and sorrow, for wisdom rests in them,
twin experiences with different faces.

Blessings be upon what lies before you,
the challenges and decisions,
the pain and the relief.

Blessings upon you, my friends in Christ.