A Call to Worship
Advent 3C 2012
Isaiah 12: 2-6

We come to share together to celebrate the God who is present amongst us.
The Lord our God is our strength and song, and is even now our salvation.

We come to share together to celebrate with all the world, that the Lord is God.
With joy we gather around God’s fountain of grace to be refreshed and renewed.

We come to share together to celebrate with songs of praise and joy for the
Lord our God’s eternal presence is forever amongst and with us, and all peoples.
We sing with joy: Thank the Lord, our Mighty God! Praise God’s holy name! Amen.

Prayers of Praise and Thankfulness
Advent 3C 2012
Isaiah 12: 2-6

With songs of praise and our hearts and minds filled with delight, we gather
together to be refreshed as we worship our God, whose fountain of love is
forever overflowing with the cleansing springs of God’s salvation. With joy
and thankfulness we praise our God, who is our strength and our song; and
with confidence we place our trust in our Redeeming God, who overcomes
the fears that beset us when we falter, or lose our way to our home to God.

God, the Holy One, has chosen to be our Redeemer, showering each of us
with merciful forgiveness and compassionate care. With thankful hearts and
minds, we praise our Renewing and Restoring God, who not only cleanses
us in the fountain of God’s own loving grace, but who also revives us from
the harsh realities of life’s struggles. As we drink deeply from that gracious gift,
let all people near and far hear from our words and see from our lives that
we celebrate and rejoice in our God’s merciful salvation, that is freely offered
to people who come willingly in response to God’s generous love and grace.

Come, let us sing to the Lord our God, let us praise our Glorious God for all
the wonderful things that God has done for erring humanity; for the many
blessings poured so freely over God’s people; and for the promises and hope
that God has given to the people who faithfully love and serve their Lord.
Thank the Lord, whose love is eternal! Praise the holy name of our God forever! Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Advent 3C 2012
Isaiah 12: 2-6

I am so grateful for the understanding nature and being of my loving God!
Being afraid or being fear-filled is a very common condition amongst people,
as so much of our life and living seems to be beyond our own control! Every
hour of every day, you and I, have very few real opportunities to change our
life; the lives of our loved one; or the life of our local community or our nation.
Is it any wonder that you and I are fearful at times? We live in a world - both
large and small - that is governed by people we do not know. We can only
hope and trust that our leaders will act in ways that are helpful to us; and which
will offer us the necessary benefits that will enrich not only our life and living,
but also the local communities in which we live out our lives. I know there are
times when fears press heavily on me, and I wonder how I as one person, could
ever hope to alter anything! Thanks be to God, that we have the reassurances
of God’s mercy and blessings so generously given to people who love their Lord—
that we can confidently leave all things in God’s hands – and especially our fears.

Creative pause: Thanks be to God for such reassuring promises!

The ancient prophet encouraged his people to celebrate with joy God’s presence
amongst them, giving each of them the confidence to joyfully shout their praises
for God’s mercy and grace towards them. I have a strong belief that being an
“encourager” is one of the most effective ways we can offer our service to God.
I live in Geelong, and in the early history of the Geelong Circuit in the Australian
Methodist Church in 1851, there were 17 Local Preachers and 4 “Exhorters” who
served God in that gold mining and service community. The Local Preachers were
the evangelists, and those “Exhorters” encouraged the local people in their faith
and daily living in that dangerous and rather primitive circumstances. God has called
many people to fill the role of Encourager/Exhorter, especially in times of struggle—
and it is a role any faithful person can fulfil, so long as they have absolute trust and
confidence in their God to give them the “right” message for their time and situation.

Creative pause: There is always a place for people to be an “Encourager/Exhorter”!

“The Lord God is …my song…” These words have always intrigued me as how
can God be my “song” unless the message of that “song” is something that sings
and resonates within my inner being. “My song” will and must grow out of a deep
personal love and confidence about the One around whom the “song” evolves.
Isaiah sang “his song” with the words: “The Lord God is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation."
This song was his comfort and his encouragement
in the face of his people’s particular difficulties, and it gave them the strength and the
will to sing and shout their trust and joy in his God. May God always be “my song”,
“my strength” and “my salvation” - regardless of the difficulties and fears of each day.

Creative pause: Do I allow God to always be “my song and my strength”?

Unless stated otherwise, all Bible readings and extracts used in these weekly Prayers and
Meditations are from the ‘New Living Translation’, © 1996. Copyright. All rights reserved.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189 USA.

*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:
© 2012 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.


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