Author

Melissa Rynders

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Regardless of your level with in the Imagine Dragon fanbase, people all across the world are familiar with their powerful alternative rock mega-hits that tap into the deepest human desires and experiences. With lyrics like “I’ll bet my life on you” and “you made me a believer,” their songs are rich with themes at the center of Christianity. This communion service was written with permission to weave their music with communion around Gods call to us to love well.

Love Well
A Communion Service based on the music of Imagine Dragons
Written By Rev. Melissa Rynders for Youth 2019

  1. Sing Believer by Imagine Dragons

Reader: We all need to feel and know God’s love. So much of what surrounds us everyday is the uncertainty of what it means to live in the world. The sadness, the sorrow, the pain, the moments of grief and death that are everywhere. Broken down, built up, we are formed into believers. We forget that before Jesus’ death and resurrection, there was a time of celebration and triumph and LOVE, as Jesus entered the city. So together we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, LOVE riding in on a donkey as the crowd cried out Hosanna! You made me a believer! Hosanna!

Responsive Reading: (Based on Romans 12.9-17)

Reader: Our scripture reminds us, Love others well and don’t hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil; pursue what is good as if your life depends on it. Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first.

People: You break us down, You build us up. We are Believers.

Reader: Do not slack in your faithfulness and hardwork. Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over, as you serve the Lord. Do not forget to rejoice, for hope is always just around the corner. Hold up through the hard times that are coming, devote yourselves to prayer.

People: My life, my love, my drive, came from pain. You make me a believer.

Reader: Share what you have with the saints, so they lack nothing; take every opportunity to open your life and home to others.

People: By the grace of fire and flames, You break us down, You build us up, You make us believers.

2. Sing Walking the Wire by Imagine Dragons

Reader: To “Love Well” is the ultimate goal. It is what we are searching for,  but too often the Love that God has to offer through Jesus gets lost in the brokenness that we feel. This brokenness has been felt since the beginning of time. People have been crying out to the Lord for safety, courage, strength, and love for as long as we can remember. People have also been crying out in pain, sadness, and grief, asking God to help them walk the wire of love and life. We prepare our hearts to feel the wind in our hair, feel the rush in the air, to walk the wire of God’s never ending love as we hear these words from Spoken Word Artist Rev. Dale Fredrickson.

The Weight of Love- Written by Rev. Dale Fredrickson

3. Sing Release by Imagine Dragons

Reader: Romans 12 continues, “If people mistreat or malign you, bless them. Always speak blessings, not curses. If some have cause to celebrate, join in the celebration. And if others are weeping, join in that as well. Work toward unity, and live in harmony with one another. Avoid thinking you are better than others or wiser than the rest; instead embrace common people and ordinary tasks. Do not retaliate with evil, regardless of the evil brought against you. Try to do what is good and right and honorable as agreed upon by all people. If it is within your power, make peace with yourself and with people.”

One of the disciples struggled to make peace with himself and with those whom he considered to be his community. From Matthew 26.14-16 we hear,  “Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Isacariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I turn Jesus over to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on he was looking for an opportunity to turn him in.”

Why did Judas do it? It probably wasn’t because he needed the money, he managed all the funds for the disciples and they all took care of each other and the community around them. It probably wasn’t because he was seeking attention and just wanted someone to notice him. Maybe Judas himself didn’t know exactly why he did what he did, but in the end, he did betray the Son of God. Perhaps what Judas was really searching for was God’s love. Judas had heard Jesus talk countless times about the love that God sent to the world through Jesus. Judas knew of and experienced brokenness and yet he was still longing, still searching for the place that God had in his life. We all have moments where we feel like Judas, where we long to know that God is present even when we feel like God is no where near. In many ways, Judas, like us, often wants the opportunity to start over, to come clean, to come alive once again in a God who loves us know matter what. Oh Lord, It is Time to begin.

4. Sing It’s Time by Imagine Dragons

Prayer of Confession: 

Leader: Life giving God,
Can you hear me?
Can you heal me?
Can you free me?
When words don’t come only sighs and groans,
Defeated by these diverse and daunting stones,
They press and push,
They tweak and pull,
They clog and cut.
Tearing muscles, squeezing soul, breaking bones.

ALL:  Life-Giving God,
Can you hear me?
Can you heal me?
Can you free me?
Sighs and groans, stones and bones, familiar you are.

Sing It’s time Chorus

Leader: Can you hear me?
Can you heal me?
Can you free me?
One by one,
Take these stones,
Mend these groans,
Heal these bones.

ALL: Life-Giving God,
Come near to me.
Heal me,
Hear me,
Free me.

Sing It’s Time Chorus

Reader: We are invited to the table where we come to know and experience God and to LOVE WELL. Where we no longer have to search because we know that God is present with us in the bread and the cup. Where we know that God invites us to start over and over again, each new day. Tonight we come to the table, knowing that we have been LOVED WELL and that we are called to continually LOVE WELL in return.

Communion- Bishop Johnson doing ASL throughout

Pastor: God be with you.

People: And also with you.

Pastor: Lift up your hearts.

People: We lift them up to the Lord.

Pastor: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

People: It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Pastor: Blessed are you, God of all creation,
            source of all mercies,
            fount of love beyond all measure,
It is fitting and right to give you thanks and praise,
            and to adore you with grateful hearts and voices.
For wondrously you have created heaven and earth.
Hovering in gracious care over all that you have made.
You formed us as your image of love in the world.
Yet even more wondrously, when we distorted your image
            you called us back again and again,
                        forgiving us,
                        delivering us from captivity to sin and death,
                        feeding, healing, reconciling, making covenant,
                        and setting before us the way which leads to life.
Therefore, with your people in all ages, in communion with the saints,
            and the whole company of heaven,
            we join the glad song of unceasing praise

Sing Walking the Wire Chorus

Pastor: On the night he Loved Well for us and for the world,
            at the table with those who would desert and deny him,
            he took bread, gave it to his disciples, saying:
                        “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.
                        Do this in remembrance of me.”
When supper had ended, he took the cup, gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples saying:
            “Drink from this, all of you;
            for this my cup of the new covenant,
            poured out for you and for many, for the forgiveness of sins,
            do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Therefore, remembering Christ’s life of ministry and love, his suffering, death, and resurrection, his ascending to glory and his abiding presence through the power of your Holy Spirit, we come in praise and thanksgiving with these gifts of your love, as we proclaim the mystery of faith:

Sing Walking the Wire Chorus

Pastor: Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here in Christ’s name,
            and upon these gifts, and so feed us with his grace that, in union with Christ,
            we may become a loving offering to you.
Transform us into the image and likeness of Christ,
            that we may faithfully love others in his name,
            and look forward to the final feast
            in which all shall be gathered as one at your table.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, and in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory and blessing is yours, Almighty God, now and forever.

Sing Walking the Wire Chorus

Pastor: As we have been together this week, a community formed with the intention to learn how to Love Well and live that love in our everyday lives, we come together once again, this time at the table of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, reminded that this table is a table where all who know and Love God Well are welcome to come and to feast at this table. You are invited to come and to feast together at the Love Well station that is closest to you in the arena, our volunteers will help to direct you to that closest Love Well. God’s greatest gifts of love are ready for the people God loves well. 

Sharing the Bread and Cup– band plays song during the serving of communion and fills time as necessary.

5. Sing I’ll Bet My Life by Imagine Dragons

Prayer After Communion:

Reader: “Love others well and don’t hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil; pursue what is good as if your life depends on it. Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first.” (Romans 12.9-10)

As we have come together to the table, we are reminded that all that Jesus requires of us is our hearts, and our ability to LOVE WELL. There is not a long list of things we must do or be, Jesus just wants us. We don’t need to promise not to deny him, like Peter, or to not betray him, like Judas. We need only to love and love well, the way that Jesus calls us to love. When we love well, we rise up, we look for change, we face our fears, we meet strangers. We rise. We rise up and we love well.

6. Sing Rise Up by Imagine Dragons