A Call to Worship
Easter 6A 2014
Psalm 66: 8-20

God of the past, we gather together to remember and to give you our special thanks.
Holy God, countless generations have experienced your loving guidance and blessing.

God of the present, we gather together to rejoice in how we do experience you now.
Generous God, we celebrate and give thanks for God’s continuing grace and mercy.

God of the future, we gather together in hope and faith as we are held in your hands.
Guiding God, help us to understand that we live and act tomorrow, through the life
of today and yesterday; and so as a community of faith we offer our thankfulness for
your steadfast love, mercy and grace poured out over each succeeding generation. Amen.

Psalm 66: 8-20
For the choir director: A psalm. A song.

8 Let the whole world bless our God and sing aloud his praises.
9 Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling.
10 You have tested us, O God;
you have purified us like silver melted in a crucible.
11 You captured us in your net
and laid the burden of slavery on our backs.
12 You sent troops to ride across our broken bodies.
We went through fire and flood.
But you brought us to a place of great abundance.

13 Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings
to fulfil the vows I made to you –
14 yes, the sacred vows you heard me make
when I was in deep trouble.
15 That is why I am sacrificing burnt offerings to you –
the best of my rams as a pleasing aroma.
And I will sacrifice bulls and goats.


16 Come and listen, all you who fear God,
and I will tell you what he did for me.
17 For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke.
18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart,
my Lord would not have listened.
19 But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer.
20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer
and did not withdraw his unfailing love from me.

Prayers of Thankfulness and Praise
Easter 6A 2014
Psalm 66: 8-20

God of the past, we come together today with shared and personal memories of tough
and testing times, when we never knew from one day to the next what to hope for, or
to expect. We suffered through many trials and experienced many tribulations at the
hands of people seeking to destroy in us - individually and collectively - our faith in the
One True God. Liberating God, we give thanks that they failed to achieve their goals.
We give thanks to the God of the ages for past blessings and for faithfully kept promises.
In our stress, we also made promises to God and to each other; and now we gather to
honour our promises, and to praise and glorify our Dependable God. We offer our regrets
and shame to you, O God, together with our repentant hearts and lives as a honest
sacrifice of praise for your mercy, your acceptance of us, and forgiveness of our sin.
We gather together today to remember, and to give you our special thanks and praises.

God of the present, today we celebrate the blessings our God has poured over each
of us, as individuals, but especially as a community of faith. We give thanks that we
have been able to help each other through tempting and testing times – even today—
when we are still vulnerable to memories and past hurts; and that we can continue to
pray and support each other through times of doubt and fear. Transforming God, each
day is a new opportunity to grow in grace and love, and in the knowledge of our God
who knows us so intimately; and yet who listens, loves, forgives and blesses us still.
We gather together today to remember, and to give you our special thanks and praises.

God of the future, “...Let the whole world bless our God and sing aloud his praises.
Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling…”
Guiding, Protecting
and Liberating God, it is because of our past experiences of God’s steadfast love, mercy
and grace, that we look to the unknown future with confidence. It is because of the way
God has answered our prayers in the past that we are encouraged to pray for God’s help,
blessing and guidance in the future. This gives us the confidence to continue to believe that
when we humbly confess our failings and sin to God, that we will receive God’s merciful
forgiveness and grace. Therefore, with songs of praise and prayers of thankfulness we
honour and revere our Listening God, who has never let us down when in faith, we have
cried out to God in our needs. It gives us the confidence to trust in God’s unfailing love.
We gather together today to remember, and to give you our special thanks and praises. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Easter 6A 2014
Psalm 66: 8-20

God of my past, I give sincere thanks for God’s gracious blessing and mercy
poured over me throughout my life. I give thanks for godly parents, and for a
small but committed community of faith that nurtured me through my growth
in God and in my personhood. How can I compare all the good and those things
that were destructive against the many blessings I received, and the love and
encouragement given me as I grew up by so many people? There are times
when those destructive events still arouse painful memories, and I guess that is
what life is all about as we balance the pain with the blessings; and as we trust
in God to once again heal those memories, and then enable us to move forward
again into the life calls us to live today. Help me to remember that my faith and
trust in God has grown and been reinforced through those pain-filled struggles.

Creative pause: We live today through the life and lessons of yesterday.

God of my present, how incredibly blessed I am right now! I can now do so many
of the things in my “retirement” that there was never time to do before! I am so
blessed with reasonable health (despite a very painful spinal condition) and that
means a freedom to do and be who I choose to be and do. I give thanks for the
blessings of my beloved family – daughters, sons-in-law and grandsons; for the
joy of being in partnership with God in the creation and sustaining of my lovely
garden; and for the community of faith that blesses and sustains me each day.
Whilst I grieve for the pain and suffering that so many people in the world know
today, all I can now do is to pray for them, to speak out against injustices, and to
support them as I am able in practical ways; and pray for the coming reign of God.

Creative pause: How incredibly blessed I am right now!

God of my future, like the Psalmist I can only say: “My future is in God’s hands
and to trust that God will keep my heart, mind, soul, life and feet from stumbling.”

Loving God, help me to understand and accept that I will live and act tomorrow,
because of and through the life of today and yesterday. I hope I can accept my
many failings; and I certainly give thanks for God’s forgiveness. I hope that I can
trust that as each future day unfolds, that I will be given the grace to live each day,
trusting in the guiding and forgiving mercy of the God because: “…The unfailing love
of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, ‘The
Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’ The Lord is wonderfully good
to those who wait for him and seek him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation
from the Lord.”
1 Thanks be to God for that constant and unfailing love of God, that
was offered each day to me; and which continues to be offered to all creation, forever.

Creative pause: My life is in God’s hands, and who keeps my feet from stumbling.

1 Lamentations 3:22-26 (NLT)

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.

*Revised Indexing Scheme from 'Consultation on Church Union' (COCU).

I acknowledge and give heartfelt thanks for the theological inspiration available from the writings of Professor
Walter Brueggemann; and through the resources from the internet and “The Text this Week” (Textweek).

If the Prayers and/or Meditations are used in shared worship, please provide this acknowledgement:
© 2014 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year A. Used with permission.


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