World Communion Sunday October 5, 2014

Prayers Of The People

by Rev. Allen V. Harris

Franklin Circle Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Cleveland, Ohio ~

Rev. Allen V. Harris, Pastor & Preacher ~ E-Mail:

Twitter: @FranklinCircle ~ Pastor’s Blog:



Sacred Host At The Table Of Life,


World Communion Sunday Feast Table at Franklin Circle Christian Church - flowers by Colleen Munley, altar cloth from Bhutan thanks to Jessica Bessner, Communion prepared by Jeffrey Mazo

World Communion Sunday Feast Table at Franklin Circle Christian Church – flowers by Colleen Munley, altar cloth from Bhutan thanks to Jessica Bessner, Communion prepared by Jeffrey Mazo

We give thanks to you for your radical hospitality and your effervescent welcome. Around the table of Holy Communion you make your will and ways known unambiguously and abundantly, and you invite us to be a part of your feast-making and for this opportunity we are forever grateful. But it is at this time of prayer that we are made more aware of the true depth of meaning your table hospitality provides.


Your invitation is sent to us in the highways, byways, and crossroads of life no matter our condition nor situation. There is a healing presence that comes to us knowing that regardless of how buff, broken, beautiful, or bound our bodies are… we are welcome at the dinner of our savior. Despite our own evaluations that we are just not in the right mindset, or that our neighbor is acting a bit irrational, or that we just don’t feel up to it… you put a place setting down for us nonetheless. We come to this table with all our woundedness, well aware that you left this table only to receive the wounds of unjust systems and influential leaders gone dreadfully awry.


In the same way that our ills, aches, and pains are acknowledged, so is our sorrow. We come to the table all to often bent under the weight of sadness and grief, for our lives are a constant barrage of loss – of loved ones, of abilities, of jobs, of hope, of loves. Yet you remind us the host of this meal is all too well acquainted with grief, and is comfortable with the bread and the cup being a funeral meal as much as the potluck back at the church or the dinner at the funeral parlor are. There could be no better comfort food than that which is served at the Lord’s Supper.


Likewise, this table is one with sturdy legs and is well worn with elbows and coffee stains. Communion reminds us of one who walks with us along the way and offers us ears to hear, a shoulder to lean upon, and arms for hugging. The one who breaks the bread and hands us the cup is the same friend who offers wise counsel, who challenges our complacency and laughs at our disingenuousness. This is not the fancy table in the front hallway at which no one ever sits, but the gritty kitchen table where bills are paid, the discolored church folding table where the lonely and homeless are served, the chrome and laminate diner booth where you go for coffee after your AA meeting, the picnic table in the park where the family reunion piles food and love and laughter.


And finally, this is the Eucharist, the table of thanksgiving, where we celebrate the joys of life and hold up the sure certainty of joy for those who cannot yet see it. In the simple Communion table at church we are called to celebrate new life, because every single day of our life is a chance for resurrection! Being born and birthdays! New homes and homes that are safe. Weddings, holy unions, and love made real between friends, neighbors, and coworkers. New opportunities, second chances, new leases on life, or a fresh start. Help us, O God, to allow this table to be a place to give thanks to you for all that you are, all that you have done for us, all that Jesus wanted for us as he welcomed the disciples, and therefore each and everyone of us, to join him.


Thank you for Holy Communion, the Agape Meal, the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist.