A number of people have asked about our final responsive prayer of the conference which was used as both a benediction and a grace before our final celebration meal.
The prayer is based on Ched Myers’ sermon for the Communion Service at Greenbelt in 2005 which was entitled “Freedom Bound” and it is well worth a click and download from the link here at www.chedmyers.org
We have prayed it often among our Seeds Network mobs and at Urban Seed…at times as a grace before meals and at times as a prayer before sharing communion. It has become part of our Seeds Table: Mealtime Liturgy for Seedy Mobs.
Freedom Bound: A Table Prayer for Ordinary Radicals
As we eat this day we remember Passover and Eucharist.
The foundational meals that gave birth to our people.
Meals that commemorate the journey of faith. “Which make a way out of no way.”
The exodus march and the discipleship path.
Last meals of memory for communities on the run, hunted by the powers of empire.
Meals that acknowledge the blood (of the Lamb), as the power of life over death.
Meals for a people “Freedom bound.”
Where the Exodus reminds us we are “Bound for Freedom”; Eucharist reminds us we are bound to the freedom struggle and its cost.
That God’s freedom calls us to self- restraint, servanthood and justice for all.
It reminds us that the “first supper” for a free people was wilderness manna where we are reminded our freedom is contingent upon gathering only enough and sharing the gifts of creation.
Jesus re-enacted this story when, surrounded by hungry masses, he “took bread, blessed it, broke it and distributed it” among the people.
Using the same ritual words at his Last Supper he made the feeding of the multitudes the bridge that connects these two meals
Standing ever between Exodus and Eucharist are poor folks hungering for bread and for the Bread of Life.
And Jesus’ word to disciples remains: “You feed them!”
The tale of these two meals is God’s extraordinary invitation to turn the world right side up, coming in the form of the most ordinary thing we do: sharing food together around a table.
Let us not imagine these meals as a religious entitle-ment, or empty ritual, or for a simply privatised spirituality.
Rather, when we take this Bread and lift this Cup, let us understand that we are part of a legacy that invites our embrace.
For we, too, are part of the ongoing struggle to take back the Freedom story from empire-builders and profiteers, and to restore it among Kingdom-seekers and prophets.
Upon these two memorial feasts, we can confidently stake our lives, our aspirations, our vocations.
On a faithful practice of meal and memory we can rebuild a church that will truly be Freedom Bound, so that this history of liberation may also be our future.