Communion Liturgy: Black Lives Matter

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Great Thanksgiving
(Black Lives Matter)
by Rev. Michael C. Johnson

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.

Black lives matter to You, and always have.
Black lives matter.
Black male lives matter.
Black female lives matter.
Black female trans lives matter.
Black female trafficked lives matter.
Black gay lives matter.
Black uneducated as well as educated lives matter.
Black poor as well as rich lives matter.
Black homeless lives matter.
Black Christians and non-Christians matter.
Black lives with disabilities matter.
Black immigrants and refugees matter.
Black children matter.
Black teens matter.
Their lives are sacred.
Their lives are valuable.
Their lives are precious.
Their lives are important.
Their lives are necessary.
Their lives are integral to Your magnificent beloved family.

So we join with them and all the others who are just as sacred, valuable, precious, important, necessary and integral to Your plan of salvation to sing Your praises.

We join with all the angels and archangels, the great choir of saints before Your throne, from every nation, from every culture, who speak every language, worshiping endlessly before Your throne of grace saying:

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 to the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

You are holy, and so is your presence with us in Jesus Christ.
Jesus was not white.
Jesus did not speak English.
Jesus was not a Christian.
Jesus lived as the citizen of an occupied nation.
Jesus was part of an oppressed people.
Jesus was a refugee who found protection on the Continent of Africa.
Jesus experienced mob violence.
Jesus experienced police brutality.
Jesus was lynched.

Jesus gave up his own divine privilege,
and chose to live as a slave and to live a life of service.
These acts defined his greatness,
and defines our discipleship.

Giving up his own divine privilege,
Jesus took the bread used as a call to compassion for the oppressed.
Gave thanks for it, broke it and shared it with the whole community, saying:
“Take and eat, this is my body broken and given freely for you.”
Remember how this act defined his greatness and defines our discipleship.

Giving up his own divine privilege,
Jesus took the cup used as a call to hope for Divine deliverance.
Gave thanks for it, and shared it with the whole community, saying:
“Drink from my cup, each of you;
this is my blood that I shed to testify to God’s eternal covenant,
poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Remember how this act defined his greatness and defines our discipleship.

Christ’s life mattered.
Christ’s abuse by religious authorities mattered.
Christ’s murder mattered.
Christ’s resurrection mattered.
And so do our lives, and so we choose to follow Christ
and choose to live according to this divine mystery, we now declare:

Christ has died;
Christ is risen;
Christ will come again.

Life, Meaning, Giver of Sacred Worth,
cause these gifts of bread and wine
to become for us the body and blood of Christ,
the reason our lives matter.

Life, Meaning, Giver of Sacred Worth,
cause the gift of our lives
to become for our neighbors, Your church,
the living presence and beloved bride of Christ,
a reason for their lives matter.

Life, Meaning, Giver of Sacred Worth,
touch the lives of any who feel that their lives don’t matter;
who feel they are not valued,
who are treated with disrespect
and fear that their precious lives will be thrown away.
Change us, so others might have hope.
Change us, so other might be valued.
Change us, so that no one will have to stand before their oppressors alone.

Change us, so Christ’s life will matter.
Change us, so the Holy Spirit’s life will matter.
Change us, so our Creator’s life will matter,
and that we might more fully give Them the honor, glory, and praise, due Their holy name,
today, tomorrow, and always.

Amen.

Now as those who recognize the value of the oppressed and abused, let us pray with Christ who walks this path with them and us.

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against him.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.

(Prayer after Communion)

Thank you for sharing with us this holy mystery found in Jesus Christ.  It has changed us: the way we think, the way we feel, what we understand, how we desire to live, and the value we see in the lives of others whom we have harmed through our sin of racism.  Now send us out to demand that others be treated with the value they hold within Your heart.  May Your love become more visible in us, that we not bring shame upon the name of Jesus, now or ever.  Amen.

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