Creator God, you have constructed us out of the mud of the earth. You have also asked us to share the produce of mother earth. We have a deep, passionate and intrinsic relationship with the ground. We have gathered here today as a community which lives on faith, respect, care and compassion. We also get our nourishment to carry on from the food we eat. Each region and each food bears a separate story. Help us to open our hearts to the different food, hospitality and stories which surround us. Amen.
Praise and thanksgiving
God who offers peace to all human kind, we thank you for your presence in this worship service and for guiding us all through the week. We call out your name and maintain that you have looked after us and strengthened us whenever we needed you. We praise you just as we breathe, as praising you and thanking you is the most significant part of our lives. Praise be to your name O God. Amen.
Hymn- Breathe on Me, Breath of God
1. Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do.
2. Breathe on me, Breath of God, until my heart is pure, until with thee I will one will, to do and to endure.
3. Breathe on me, Breath of God, till I am wholly thine, till all this earthly part of me glows with thy fire divine.
4. Breathe on me, Breath of God, so shall I never die, but live with thee the perfect life of thine eternity.
Bible reading: Luke 9:10-17
Sermon- Food for thought: From Charity to Parity
In every morsel of food, there is a taste to understand
In every act of food, there is a reason to come together
In every completion of food, there is a bridge we cross further
Yet we refuse to eat together and refuse to share our basic resource with others. What good will it do if our food rots away while hunger persists? We confess that we have not taken the effort to eat at the table of others and offer our table as a recourse and hospitality to others. We have definitely come short of our call to break the spices of discrimination inside us. Forgive us merciful God.
Till we try, we will not understand the power and beauty of different food. Till we accept we will continue to savour ourselves. Till we take the effort, several will hunger. May God see our clear efforts at change and extend to us the mercy which God so freely gives like the food God distributed. May God forgive us all for failing to accept and failing to reach out. Amen.
Special song- Mizo fellowship
Half the population in India goes hungry daily. They remain hungry even as others have control over resources and food. The government and its machinery find it difficult to share from the national wealth. Death due to hunger and malnutrition becomes a common phenomenon. We pray that better sense prevails and that people in positions share equally what belongs to all. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We pray that the right to food becomes the rule and norm in India and that the poor will never go hungry again. The right to information has been a landmark bill whereby every citizen of the country can find the truth about what is happening in the country and expose corruption and make sure that the government policies benefit the people they are meant for. May the right to food become a law that benefits all people in our country and may no one go hungry again. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Help us Lord as various churches to work towards the eradication of poverty. May we stop mere charity and intervene strongly to change the fundamental wrongs that keep people poor and needy. Help us to overcome the urge to be fence sitters and maintainers of the status quo. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We thank you for the UTC community. We thank you God for this opportunity to learn from and be a part of different cultures. Help us to accept each other’s hospitality and partake of the food from one another. Even though acceptance is difficult, help us to try hard to distribute the food you have earnestly and whole heartedly asked us to do so. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
We thank you for those who have gone by from UTC. We remember with thanks the teachers, mentors, partners, associates, leaders, students and community members who have taught and lived the life of sharing each others lives and food. They have been our inspiration and we continue to thank you for their lives and pray that their lives inspire us to action as well. We also pray for the community here. Some of us are recuperating from sickness, some from personal losses, some from fatigue and some from stress. Help us to be there for each other in this community and to eat, pray, and live together here. Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
Prayer to our Lord God
Our provider, blessed be your name. Your table come, your wish be done in all corners of the earth. Give us the food for today and forgive our refusal to share, just as we have forgiven those who have not shared with us. Lead us to the right path and bring us to your table. For yours is the creation, the people and the food, forever and ever. Amen.
Hymn- Jesus, Lord, We Look to Thee
1. Jesus, Lord, we look to thee; let us in thy name agree; show thyself the Prince of Peace, bid our strife forever cease.
2. By thy reconciling love every stumbling block remove; each to each unite, endear; come and spread they banner here.
3. Make us of one heart and mind, gentle, courteous, and kind, lowly, meek, in thought and word, altogether like our Lord.
4. Let us for each other care, each the other’s burdens bear; to thy church the pattern give, show how true believers live.
5. Free from anger and from pride, let us thus in God abide; all the depths of love express, all the heights of holiness.
6. Let us then with joy remove to the family above; on the wings of angels fly, show how true believers die.
Closing prayer and benediction
We all have our differences. Our food is different and the way we choose to make and eat it is different. But the ingredients are the same and the ground it comes out from is similar. We hope and pray that in our diversity we will have the courage, presence of mind and faith to come together, share equally and gain fulfilment out of dividing equally. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest and abide with us now and ever more. Amen.
(Worship order prepared for Sunday evening worship conducted on October 28, 2012 in the United Theological College, Bangalore.)