For Election Day Communion

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (I Corinthians 11:23-26)

Election Day Communion is a national movement of Christians who want to declare our allegiance to Christ over and above our allegiance to a particular political party–or even a particular nation. When I last checked the Election Day Communion website, there were 835 groups who had signed up as participants in this event.

That means that on election night, there will be tens of thousands of Christians gathering together around the Lord’s Table. Tens of thousands of Christians who will share the bread and the cup as brothers and sisters–despite political differences. Tens of thousands of voices raised to heaven praying, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”

There will be tens of thousands of Christians across the country remembering together, entering together into the story of what happened with Jesus and his disciples on the night that Jesus was betrayed.

This is the story we are choosing–the story we tell at the Lord’s Table.

For months now politicians, unions, corporations, Facebook friends, have been trying to get us to participate in their stories. So many different stories; all wanting our buy-in–our agreement, our money, our vote.

Stories of a successfully recovering economy and stories of failed economic policies.

Stories of family values and stories of civil rights.

Stories of the war on women and stories of the evils of abortion.

Stories of care for the vulnerable and stories of entitlement programs.

Stories of environmental responsibility and stories of the need for job creation.

We’ve heard so many stories. And we hear them all in the context of our own unique life stories. The stories we live affect the stories we believe. And my guess is that, if you vote, the stories you believe play a big role in who you vote for.

It is fine to go to the voting booth. But it is more important to come to the Table. Our presence at the Table bears witness to the fact that whatever social, political, moral, economic stories we might believe, this is the central story for our lives. This is the Story by which all other stories are measured. This story of God’s deep love for us in creation, in covenant, and ultimately, in Jesus Christ.  This story that proclaims Good News, freedom, healing. This story that proclaims a love stronger than hate, a life bigger than ourselves, a power stronger than death.

It is this story of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ that claims our allegiance. Now and always. Amen.

Wednesday Worship Piece: World Communion Sunday

This is an adaptation of the traditional Great Thanksgiving liturgy that we used on World Communion Sunday a couple of years ago–and may use again this year.  The plain text is read by the leader and the bold is read by the congregation.  The hymn numbers given refer to Hymnal: A Worship Book.

Great Thanksgiving Liturgy

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is right, and a good and joyful thing,
Always and everywhere to give thanks to you,
Lord God Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Hymn: Cantemos al Senor 55

In the beginning, O grace-filled Creator, you hovered amidst the chaos and spoke beauty into the world. At the sound of your voice, lights shimmered, land masses shifted, trees towered and flowers blossomed. You spoke into being the beetles and butterflies, frogs and fish, tigers and tarantulas—a world teeming with life and energy. And you formed us, O God; from the dust of the earth you shaped toes and ankles, thighs and bellies, shoulders and heads. And your breath filled us. And it was very good.

 But we did not appreciate the goodness of your creation. We found what we thought were faults and tried to fix them—only to realize we had introduced brokenness into the world. We spoke our own words of destruction that threatened to drown out your voice of creation.

And so, you again entered the chaos embodied in Jesus of Nazareth. You again spoke to us and filled us with life. You again touched our bodies, and we were made whole. And though this broken world broke your body, you burst forth from the tomb in the glory of resurrection.

So, with those who gather around tables of peace and hope in every corner of our world,
and with those who are with you in glory, we offer our praises and join the unending hymn:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Hymn: Holy, holy, holy! 120

Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ whom your Spirit anointed to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to proclaim your salvation.

Jesus spoke words of peace and walked in the way of peace. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and shared meals with sinners. By his life, death, and resurrection, O God, you gave birth to your church, delivered us from slavery to sin and death, and made with us a new covenant by water and the Spirit.

And so this morning, we join with the church universal in proclaiming the abundant life you offer to all as we gather at this table.


* To be honest, I don’t remember how much I wrote and how much I borrowed.  I can’t find this particular version anywhere online, so I think there are at least substantial portions that are original.  If you are aware of a source, please do let me know.  And, as always, you are welcome to use this in your own worship contexts.


Wedensday Worship Piece: Call to Worship

Our congregation shares the Lord’s Supper on the second Sunday of each month, but I know many churches with monthly communion celebrate the table on the first Sunday of the month.  So I’m sharing with you a call to worship that is appropriate for a worship time that includes communion. It is inspired by Isaiah 55:1-2

Call to Worship

Come, all you who are thirsty.
We come to drink from the cup of salvation.
Come, all you who are hungry.
We come to eat the bread of life.
Here, at the Lord’s table, we will eat and drink what is good.
Our souls will delight in the richest fare.
Let us gather now as a family around the table.
Let us worship God together.