A few years ago, some of our worship leaders talked about different ways our worship gatherings could immerse our congregation within the narrative of scripture. As we talked, a consensus emerged that we could give more attention to the litanies and teaching times connected with baptism and communion.
I previously highlighted a Preface to Baptism that we often utilize. The following litany, Telling the Gospel Story, is a reading that we sometimes use in preparation for celebrating communion together.
Telling the Gospel Story
Pastor: In the beginning, God created all things very good. He filled creation with the capacity and opportunity to mutually flourish in God’s presence.
People: However, we refused to do our part in cultivating life within God’s creation, choosing instead to take creation’s abundance for our own purposes.
Pastor: But God refused to abandon us or his creation to the death and decay we had chosen and instead set out on the long road of restoring us and all of creation to his abundant life.
People: In the midst of the chaos we created, God raised up a people through whom the whole world would be blessed.
Pastor: When they, too, turned away from their role among the nations, grasping God’s blessings as their exclusive possessions, God moved in with us in the person of Jesus Christ – the uncreated God became part of God’s own creation!
People: In doing so, God revealed his salvation in Jesus Christ and, through his death and resurrection, reconciled us to himself.
Pastor: In this reconciliation, the Spirit is also at work:
- gathering us together as the people of God;
- sending us as servants of God’s reconciliation among all people; and,
- equipping us to cultivate life throughout God’s creation –
in anticipation of Jesus Christ’s return and the renewal of all things.
People: This good news is not only for us, but also for our children and for all who are far off from God.
Pastor: Though undeserving, we receive the bread and cup from the Lord. In doing so, we remember and believe that in Jesus Christ, God has forgiven our sins, ushering us by the Spirit, into the new life of God’s kingdom. Therefore, we proclaim with one voice:
People: Christ has come. Christ has died. Christ will come again.