This Great Prayer of Thanksgiving and Sending Blessing were written to accompany the stewardship sermon series “A Deeper Well.”
The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving + The Lord’s Prayer The Lord be with you. And also with you. Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. It is right to give our thanks and praise. Our God created the world and all that is in it, breathed life into every living thing, placed humans in a garden at the crossroads of four rivers. Yet we thirsted for the juice of the fruit, and disobeyed God’s one command. We were cast out into the dryness of the desert, to dig our own wells in strange lands. When we were enslaved in Egypt, God heard our cries, and led us through the desert. When we were thirsty, God caused water to pour forth from a rock. Yet once we were settled in a land flowing with milk and honey, our thirsts turned again to greed and power, and we grew careless to God’s commands. So God sent us prophets to remind us that justice must flow down like an ever-rushing stream. And then Jesus came, baptized in the Jordan, to live like us, know pain like ours, hunger and thirst like us, but also give us glimpses of a different world without hunger or thirst of pain. The realm of God, drawn from deep within God’s own heart. We killed Jesus on the cross, as the water bled from his side. But three days later he rose again to prove death’s defeat and offer again to us Life Eternal, by the power of the Spirit. And so we come here, to font and table, as the church that still hungers and thirsts for God’s kingdom come. And so with gratitude for this bread and this cup, and indeed for all you have done for us, and for this sacred community, we join our voices in the prayer our Lord taught us, saying, 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 us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen. Sending Blessing Friends, we have sat an hour by the well, been offered living water, and the communion of the Lord. We have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. I send you out to a dry land, a burning land, and you may find yourself thirsting this week. So I invite you, as often as you need to to return to the well. It will never run dry. And in this week, whatever it may bring, know that you are held by the love of God, the peace of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, now, tomorrow, and forever. Amen.