A Call to Worship
Advent 3B 2011
Psalm 126

We gather together, our God of all blessings,
to worship, praise and glorify your holy name.
You are the God of immense mercy and goodness,
whose generosity is beyond our understanding.

We gather together to celebrate the wonders
of our God’s intimate involvement with humanity.
Our God has blessed us and our ancestors,
even when we were unworthy of such blessings.

We gather together, rejoicing in the hope that God
gives us, so that even our tears can turn into joy.
Through our personal experiences of God’s goodness,
we celebrate and give thanks to our Amazing God. Amen.

Prayers of Praise and Trust
Advent 3B 2011
Psalm 126

We come offering praise and glory to our great and glorious God
who has breathed new life into our dry and dusty souls, giving us
fresh hope and new enthusiasms for life and living, both individually
and as a community of faith. We have each experienced times of
loss and disappointment, yet our trustworthy God has turned these
sorrows and pains into times of hope and expectation, breathing new
life and joy into all our actions; as we seek to live in and through God.

Holy God, we pray that we may be good representatives and stewards
of our roles and responsibilities, as we daily seek to live a faithful witness
to you. We hope that others may see and know, that you are a God who
is worthy of all honour and worship, and that your faithfulness and mercy
is available to all who respond, and offer their love and commitment to you.

Renewing and restoring God, we rejoice in the new beginnings that
you have made possible for us through your generous and forgiving
love; and that past tears and regrets can stay in the past; and that
with your inspiration and encouragement, we may reap a harvest of
joy and peace, as your name is honoured and praised forever. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Advent 3B 2011
Psalm 126

Loving God, I need to admit that grief can be a terrible trap!
I often find it so very hard to fight my way through the intense
selfishness that grief brings with it - hand in hand with its pain.
It is so easy to wallow in grief and loss, and whilst it is an
everyday part of life, that does not make it any easier to bear!

Creative pause: Grief can be a selfish trap into which we can fall.

I grieve deeply about so many things! I grieve for loved friends
and relatives now lost to me; places that have changed; happy
times that cannot be repeated; places that are changed beyond
recognition; and traditions in worship that have had to make way
for new concepts and understandings of old and loved truths.
I am not sure what are the hardest experiences of loss to bear—
beloved people; familiar places; joyous family celebrations;
having a meaning and purpose in life; the loss of familiar
symbols of worship; or of never-to-be repeated experiences
of community worship! I have experienced them all, and I grieve
that never again will many such opportunities be presented to me.

Creative pause: What are the hardest losses to bear?

But I am so thankful to God, that the lost past need not always
be gloom and doom. God renews the cycles of life every season,
and the cycles of new and old relationships can change too. New
experiences of shared worship need not always be rejected, and
new life and vitality can come at any age or in any circumstance.
My tears of loss can indeed become smiles of anticipation and hope,
and God continues to provide new challenges and needs to be met.
Praise be to my ever-renewing, ever-new and inspirational God!

Creative pause: My God continually renews life’s cycles.

Unless stated otherwise, all Bible readings and extracts used in these weekly Prayers and Meditations are from
‘The New Revised Standard Version’ Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council
of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

*The additional weekly numbering is from the Revised COCU Indexing Scheme
COCU = ('Consultation on Church Union'); as it offers an easy sequential numbering
for the Revised Common Lectionary for the Church Calendar.

If any part of these Prayers and/or Meditations is used in shared worship, please provide
the following acknowledgement:
© 2011 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Used with permission.


Download/view a pdf file of this document here: advent3b_2011.pdf