Thursday, July 27, 2006
A Great Thanksgiving During a Time of Fear in the Holy Land
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
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,
Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
You created all humankind to live together
as one family, at peace,
serving you and one another
with mercy and grace.
During this time of worldwide strife and fear,
when misunderstanding, hatred, and violence
seem to reign in your world,
remind us of your intent at creation,
and give us your vision for the future,
that your people might effectively call all peoples
to live in peace,
working toward the possibility of harmony and understanding,
for our sinful hearts are filled
with confusion and selfishness.
When we turned away and our love failed,
your love remained steadfast,
working through your people throughout history
to call all creation to peace, justice and reconciliation.
with your people on earth
and all the company of heaven
we praise your name and join their 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 he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.
Through Jesus Christ, you have taught us a new way,
a way which favors turning the other cheek
and loving our enemies,
finding our security only in you,
rather than seeking a false security through violence,
or vengeance through gunfire, bombs and death.
By the baptism of his suffering, death and resurrection
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.
On the night in which he gave himself up for us
he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread,
gave it to his disciples, and said:
"Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."
When the supper was over, he took the cup,
gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:
"Drink from this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me."
in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
as a holy and living sacrifice,
in union with Christ's offering for us,
as we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,
and on these gifts of bread and wine.
Make them to be for us the body and blood of Christ,
that we may be for the world the body of Christ,
redeemed by his blood,
and called to the ministry of reconciliation.
By your Spirit, make us one with Christ,
one with each other,
and one in ministry to all the world,
until Christ comes in final victory,
and we feast at his heavenly banquet.
Through your Son Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit in your holy church,
All honor and glory is yours, almighty Father,
Now and for ever.
- written by Rev. Keith H. McIlwain of Jefferson Hills, PA, 7/06, released into the public domain, and free to use by any and all who desire to go on to perfection in love