Grace-giving God, we come together as a community of faith to worship you.
A Call to Worship
Easter 3C 2013
We sing our praises to our God, because God’s love continues to be real to us!
Listening God, we come together as a community of hope to seek your blessing.
God has heard our cries and seen our vulnerability, and restored us to wholeness.
Healing God, we come together as a community of joyful people, to praise you.
All praise to our Responsive God, who is also our Renewing and Restoring God—
who turns our sorrow into joy, and our pain into songs of praise and thankfulness. Amen.
Prayers of Confession
Home-coming God, you call to us with welcoming encouragement
Easter 3C 2013
to come to you in worship and praise. Those times when we thought
we were on top of things in our life - we’ve felt invincible with all the
world at our feet - and we gloried in the empty admiration and praises!
Then, when reality overshadowed us, we were suddenly fragile, weak
and vulnerable. Without our hope, faith and trust in God, we would have
been forever lost. Beckoning God, it is then that we rediscover your
generous favour, grace and mercy is still readily available to us, and
the world’s so-called security means very little to us. Generous God, in
your gracious compassion, hear our sincere prayers, and have mercy.
Forgiving God, you turn our despair into hope and our fear into service!
Faithful God, we come to you confessing our doubts and fears, our
anxieties and our insecurity. Help us to understand that, even in our
weaknesses and brokenness, we are not lost to you forever! Forgive us,
when we are sure “our” way is the only way to be successful and “get
on” in the world and be prosperous. In our ambitious pride, we have
often ignored the people whom you have sent to us to enliven and
challenge us - the people who have different insights about love and life,
and who could enrich us spiritually and even socially. Trustworthy God,
in your gracious compassion, hear our earnest prayers, and have mercy.
Forgiving God, you turn our sorrow into joy, and our pain into singing!
Transforming God, help us to accept our own and other’s weaknesses;
and to accept that our broken lives can be mended and healed by God’s
gracious mercy. Awaken within us a new awareness of our dependency
on our God, and on other people; and stir in us a new understanding of
our own special and unique place in our community, but also, how much
we can learn from other people’s experiences. Free us from our insecurities
and doubts, and from the belief that we deserve life’s pain because of past
actions and words; and help us to learn from those things that divide us, and
what it really is that unites us into an accepting community. Freedom’s God,
in your gracious compassion, hear our contrite prayers and have mercy.
Forgiving God, you turn our fears into confidence and insecurity into trust!
O Lord our God, we will always sing our thanks and praise to our Holy God. Amen.
A Personal Meditation
We all have shadows in our lives, with some much darker shadows than
Easter 3C 2013
others, and those shadows have the power to remain debilitating until they
are held to the radiant light of God’s grace, and loving forgiveness. I believe
that God’s forgiveness is important in the defeat of these shadows, even if
we are the “victim” within that shadow; as the light God shines on us frees
us, so we can let go of our status as a “victim”. O Lord my God, I thank you
again, for you freed me from a very dark shadow as, while I only a child, I
was faced with a situation that both bewildered and frightened me; and
when I did not know what to do, who to share my personal problems with,
or even who I could trust! I was so uncertain, because amongst the very
people with whom I should have been able to share my fears and pain, was
that one person who frightened me! Trusting in my God, I cried to the Lord
for help and guidance, and God blessed and freed me, giving me the strength
to confront my oppressor. I continue to celebrate God’s trustworthy guidance
and help, as my pain was lightened through God’s grace, love and mercy.
|Creative pause:||Life’s shadows can control our lives - if we let them!|
Another shadow on my life was a situation which threatened all my values—
and eventually ended with the a break-up of my marriage; and again, I felt
so helpless and lost in the darkness. My trust in people was almost destroyed
as I found the fickle nature of people so hard to understand. I cried to the
Lord for help and guidance, and God blessed and freed me, giving me the
strength to deal with that situation. I was enabled by God’s grace to accept
the changes in my life and their effects on my two young daughters. I continue
to celebrate God’s trustworthy guidance and help, as my pain was lightened
and turned to acceptance, as a new path opened for a different life in God.
|Creative pause:||Once more, God’s unfailing mercy poured over me!|
A different type of shadow came into my life in my later years, but it was no
less painful, for it was time to make choices in my various commitments to
my faith community. As I struggled with accepting my physical limitations, I
wondered how could I continue to serve my God in my new circumstances?
Again, I cried to the Lord my God for help and guidance, and God blessed
and freed me, giving me the strength to accept and make the necessary
decisions. By God’s grace, I was enabled to accept those changes in my life,
and I am now quietly content, with time to praise my God in new ways; and
although this new life is still challenging, it is also very rewarding! Today, I
joyfully celebrate God’s trustworthy help and guidance, because a new way
opened for me to serve my trustworthy God, who freed me from those shadows.
|Creative pause:||God is my Quiet Centre and my Strength at all times.|
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:
© 2013 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.
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