[In the middle of the table is a cylinder of ice, coloured red with food colouring and with a tea-light in the centre along with the bread and wine]
The broken body that melts hearts
(based on the readings for today – April 26th 2007 – Acts 8v26-end and John 6v44-51)
My heart is hard, frozen solid, ice cold and hidden beneath a protective layer.
My heart is hard, solidified by constant bruising and wounding, scarred and damaged.
My heart is hard, obsessed with my own needs and desires, focussed and single minded.
My heart is hard, wary of exposing its inner weakness, my fears and insecurities.
My heart is hard, turned to stone by bitterness and argument, by anger.
My heart is hard, hardened by my own determination to live by my own strength.
My heart is hard, crusted over by years of ignoring the cry of God.
Yet you melt hearts.
You melt the hearts of the hurting
You melt the hearts of the lonely
You melt the hearts of the empty
You melt the hearts of the grieving
You melt the hearts of the weak
You melt the hearts of the insecure
You melt the hearts of the helpless
You melt the hearts of the scared
You melt the hearts of the failure
You melt the hearts of those who have had enough of human answers,
of answers that do not fit the questions,
of answers that demand a different question,
of answers that do not ring true,
of answers that belong to someone else and somewhere else,
of answers that have been tried and found wanting,
of answers that have no real meaning.
Jesus said, “Don't bicker among yourselves over me. You're not in charge here. The Father who sent me is in charge. He draws people to me-that's the only way you'll ever come. Only then do I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the End. John 6v33&34
Melt my heart,
Melt our hearts,
Melt our hearts so we will be open to hear your cry, to heed your call,
Melt the hearts of those we love,
Melt the hearts of those we struggle with,
Melt the hearts of those we meet on the way,
Melt the hearts of those you lead us to,
Later God's angel spoke to Philip: “At noon today I want you to walk over to that desolate road that goes from Jerusalem down to Gaza.” He got up and went. He met an Ethiopian eunuch coming down the road. The eunuch had been on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was returning to Ethiopia, where he was minister in charge of all the finances of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He was riding in a chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit told Philip, “Climb into the chariot.” Running up alongside, Philip heard the eunuch reading Isaiah and asked, “Do you understand what you're reading?” He answered, “How can I without some help?” and invited Philip into the chariot with him. The passage he was reading was this: As a sheep led to slaughter, and quiet as a lamb being sheared, He was silent, saying nothing. He was mocked and put down, never got a fair trial. But who now can count his kin since he's been taken from the earth? The eunuch said, “Tell me, who is the prophet talking about: himself or some other?”. Using this passage as his text, Phillip preached Jesus to him. As they continued down the road, they came to a stream of water. The eunuch said, “Here's water. Why can't I be baptized?” He ordered the chariot to stop. They both went down to the water, and Philip baptized him on the spot. Acts 8v26-38We pray for those whose hearts are melting under the warmth of your love, take us to them, speak through us in everything we do and say, may we honour you and who you are in everything we do and say, may we love them in everything we do and say. We ask not for simple "opportunities" but for relationships with those whose hearts you have begun to melt.
[As we watch the ice candle melt we pray in silence or aloud for those God has already led us to and those who we have yet to meet.]
Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. But now here is Bread that truly comes down out of heaven. Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever. I am the Bread-living Bread!-who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live-and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self.” John 6v47-51Your body broken for us melts our hearts and leads us back to God
Your body broken for all melts hearts and leads people back to God
Your body broken for the world melts its heart and brings it back to God
Your willingness to be broken is the only thing that can truly melt the hardened, bruised, self-centred, hurting hearts of the world and bring it back into the arms of God, the healer, the redeemer, the comforter, the creator and the re-creator.
[We share the bread and wine]