We come, praying for clean hearts and hands that we may worship God.
A Call to Worship
All Saints' Day Year B 2012
Our God has promised that all faithful people will receive God’s blessings.
We come, praying that through God’s grace we may stand before God.
Grace-giving God, through you alone we are able to come to worship you.
We come today, praying that we may receive blessings from our God.
Trustworthy God, you have always fulfilled your promises, and we
joyfully celebrate and give thanks for the mercies of our Gracious God. Amen.
Prayers of Thankfulness and Trust
Challenging God, on this day when we remember with deep gratitude all
All Saints' Day Year B 2012
those people who have contributed to our own faith journey, we give
thanks for their lives of faith and trust in their Eternal God. Theirs were
the faith journeys that gave us spiritual inspiration and encouragement—
whether we knew those people personally, through their writings, or
only through learning of their faith-inspired deeds from other people.
We give thanks that through the worship, witness and service of these
committed people, they are now rejoicing in God’s glorious presence
as they sing their never-ending songs of praise to their trustworthy God.
We give thanks to our faithful God for the privilege knowing about these
saints in light, and may we follow their good example in our daily living.
Everlasting God, we give thanks for the promises we have from our God—
that all those who faithfully love and serve their Lord will receive the Lord’s
blessings; and that through God’s grace their forgiven lives and their acts
of worship have been found to be acceptable offerings to their Loving God.
Majestic God, the call goes out to open the gates into God’s home-coming
presence, where all God’s faithful may enter to offer their praises, worship
and reverent awe to the God of the universe. Breath-giving God, your acts
of amazing creativity helps us to learn and understand more about our God,
as they are examples of the beauty, grace, mercy and love of our Creating
God; and in this atmosphere of wonder love and praise, we join with all God’s
saints from the beginning of time, to praise and honour our Welcoming God. Amen.
A Personal Meditation
As a child, clean hands always were associated with being able to sit at
All Saints' Day Year B 2012
the meal table; to meet “nice” people; being encouraged to sit on the “good”
furniture in the lounge; and going to church with not only clean hands,
but also a clean dress! Those “clean hands” procedures were originally a
parental or older sibling responsibility, which it was hoped would continue
throughout one’s life. In ancient times, there were many purification rules
of “clean hands” relating to everyday life, but also to the worship of God as
the hands and mouth had to be cleansed before speaking the name of God
in an act of worship or prayer. In daily life, “clean hands” also referred not
only to prepare oneself before a meal, but also clean hands after a meal
as well, in order to wash off the salt that was included as a preservative in
their food, which may permanently damage the eyes if they were rubbed.
|Creative pause:||Do I cleanse my hands and mouth before speaking God’s name?|
The “clean heart” procedures was often a shared role within my family, with
many loving and well-intentioned people contributing to their understanding
and the hope of my “clean heart” before God; with my actions and words
often their only real sign of the purity of my heart before God. However, long
ago, God reminded Samuel that God only notices the purity of our hearts,
and not our outward appearances. My “clean hands and heart” are now
my responsibility before God, and I pray that I am acceptable to my God.
|Creative pause:||I am responsible before God for my own clean hands and heart.|
According to the Psalmist, people who had passed the “clean hands and
hearts” test, but who also did not worship idols or tell lies will be blessed by
God. We hear many untruths called “little white lies”, and I am as guilty as
anyone else with the lies that I tell, and the truth that I stretch for my own
purposes! In my travels I have seen many authentic “idols”, and have felt
not the least interest in offering them any act of worship; but, what about my
own personal idols - those things that I consider vital to my life and happiness?
Have I turned these habits and choices into idols which have a higher priority
than the private or shared worship of my God; and have I chosen them over
the joy of experiencing God’s gift of blessedness? I sincerely pray that is not so!
|Creative pause:||Surely, the joy of God’s blessedness is much more desirable!|
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:
© 2012 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Used with permission.
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