A Call to Worship
Easter 2B 2012
Psalm 133

Holy God, the Father of us all, we gather to worship you
and to reaffirm our shared relationship as children of God.
With fatherly care, God welcomes us to our shared
experiences of worship, fellowship, prayer and praise.

Renewing God, we gather to be re-invigorated in our worship,
and in the witness and relationships that flows from worship.
Together and individually, we will be cleansed and refreshed by
the holy winds of God’s Spirit, as it blows around and within us.

The Lord our God gives new life and new blessings as we come
together in the unity of one purpose – to praise and glorify God.
Blessings, honour, glory and power belongs to our God, the
Father of all humanity – who claims us all as beloved children. Amen.

Prayers of Praise and Thankfulness
Easter 2B 2012
Psalm 133

Holy God, as we ascend to the ultimate, to the highest of
the high places into the presence of the Exalted God, we
give thanks that God accepts very many different sorts
of people to serve, honour, obey and worship God – the
Almighty One - the Lord of the heavens and the earth.

We give thanks that it is not only kings, queens, rulers,
or chiefs who are anointed into special office; but that
God chooses ordinary people like you and me to be
forgiven, renewed, blessed and called “special” in God’s
sight, as God calls people to serve and worship their
Almighty God. The fragrance of that symbolic oil speaks
to us of the presence of God’s Spirit that rests on us as
we are called to accept the responsibilities of working
in unity with our brothers and sisters in the faith, as one
great family of God across the world and through eternity.

We give thanks and praises to God who has called
patriarchs and paupers; matriarchs and midwives;
old and young people; and all those people in between—
to gather as brothers and sisters under God, with the
richness of life that knows no end, and in fellowship
with God and with each other always and forever. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Easter 2B 2012
Psalm 133

What a delight it is to be in close and in-depth fellowship with
other people - which is a wonderful foretaste of the promised
eternal fellowship, as I am not only claimed by God as God’s
own child, but also as a sister to so many wonderful saints in
light – past, present and future. Never-the-less, the day-to-day
reality of fellowship I experience in worship is also very sweet.

Creative pause: A promised foretaste of eternal fellowship.

I am glad that there are other general uses for anointing oil,
besides being used for religious festivals. In times past, a host
usually produced a refreshing and fragrant oil together with the
offer of the welcoming ritual of massage, which relaxed their
guest for a time of companionship in the hospitality of their own
home. These days, and provided a guest is not allergic to some
perfumes, I love to have my home symbolically perfumed as a
welcoming act of grace. There is also a spiritual dimension with
this, as it is a also symbol of God’s welcome, hospitality and
generosity towards a newcomer, making one feel at home with God.

Creative pause: The refreshing oil of welcome and hospitality.

I also love the potential for healing through anointing with oil,
as it provides refreshing comfort to a person who is in distress.
Anointing with oil has long been practiced as a healing act, or
even as a holy sacrament of purifying and release. I have used
olive oil to massage hands on people who are weary or worn
down by life’s struggles and heartaches; or as a symbolic act
of drawing people together into a group, when each person
massages an oil into another’s hands. I am not sure whether
it is the oil or the human touch, but I know that a back massage
offered to an ill patient was always very welcome, as it combines
the pleasures of human presence and touch with the physical
relief of increased circulation! So we celebrate the gift of oil being
poured on people, in an act of consecration; in warm hospitality;
in healing and giving comfort; in a bonding-together action; and
as a special symbol of God’s gracious and generous welcome.

Creative pause: The healing comfort and powers of touch.

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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