We gather in reverent awe, as we thank our God for our past blessings.
A Call to Worship
Easter 6C 2013
Let all the peoples praise you, O God. Yes, let all the peoples praise you!
We gather in worship and song, as we give thanks for all today’s blessings.
Let all creation praise you, O Lord our God. Yes, let all creation praise you!
We gather in prayer and praise, as we boldly ask God to continue to bless us,
and for God’s merciful favour to warmly shine over and around us and protect us.
Yes, God will indeed bless all people who are in awe of God - now and always—
and not only people in this our own faith community – but through all the world! Amen.
Prayers of Thankfulness
Holy and Blessed God, we come to worship and praise you for
Easter 6C 2013
your great goodness and mercy to us - your gifts to us through
your forgiving grace. Our saving and blessing God has actively
been involved in our life and living since our conception; blessing
us from the moment our first tiny cells started to divide and multiply.
In faith, trust and hope, and with thankful hearts, minds and souls—
and all that we are as individuals and as a community - we gather
to bless our God, and to seek God’s continuing blessings on us
and all creation. We offer our most sincere thanks to our God, as
God so generously chooses to bless us with these unexpected,
unearned, and even surprising gifts of God’s grace, mercy and love!
O God, let all peoples praise you; yes, let all peoples praise you!
Radiant God, as the light of your love shines upon us, we are so
enriched by your warming light of love; and we are enabled and
encouraged to share with others the good news of God’s many
blessings upon us. We only need to look around us to see the many
examples of God’s generosity towards us all; with all the wonders
and beauties of creation; the abundance of food and water we are
called upon to share equally with all people; and the way we have
been blessed with our need for a sense of belonging within a family
and within a community – all freely given to us by our Loving God.
O God, let all peoples thank you; yes, let all peoples thank you!
We give our thanks that God chooses to bless us from the endless
supply of God’s grace and loving mercy. However, as we so readily
receive these gifts, they also have a responsibility attached to them!
God has blessed us, so that the good news about God’s ways of
love and gracious mercy may be shared amongst other people; and
so that God’s power to save and bless will become their very own
experience. Supporting God, we pray that you will help each of us to
be “agents on a mission” for God – living amongst and sharing with
people - all we have experienced of God’s “blessed” activities within us.
O God, let all peoples worship you; yes, let all peoples worship you! Amen.
A Personal Meditation
When I was a child, I was always corrected when I said: “Can I
Easter 6C 2013
have/go...?” and instead, I was taught to say: “May I have/go...?”
So, is “may” about asking a question or making a demand for
some particular action? In Psalm 67 when the poet frequently used
the word “may” as in: “May God be merciful and bless us. May
his face shine with favour upon us...” was he requesting from God
certain responses and reactions, or was he asking permission for
more of the same please? The “Aaronic Blessing” also uses the
“may” word. 'May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord
smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his
favour and give you his peace.'1 It that a request or demand of God?
|Creative pause:||Are our prayers a request or a demand of God?|
I have been asked a few times what does “Blessing/s” mean - which
surprises me, because apparently not all people do not know what a
“Blessing” really intends or means. If there is no clear understanding
of the purpose of receiving a “Blessing” at the end of worship; at weddings,
at baptisms or funerals, what was/is the worship leader’s reason for saying
them! Do some people think that a “Blessing” is some magical formula
such as saying “Abracadabra” and then it happens? Do people not realise
that “Blessings” are each of us thanking God for past mercies and gifts
of generosity; or that in faith and trust we are asking for God’s continuing
goodness and grace? Is some congregational education ever required?
|Creative pause:||Do all congregational members understand the purposes of liturgies?|
From various resources, I have attempted to define “Blessings”. Can
you improve on these attempts? Please do so! To be “blessed” is to
recognise and accept a gift from God that is unexpected, unearned,
inexplicable, incomprehensible and mystifying; all because of God’s
loving activity within and around you/me; and because God’s chooses
to offer you/me a gift of “grace” by blessing us with favour and even
with protection. OR: To be blessed is to be sanctified and made holy
through prayer and/or the “laying on of hands”; and requesting God’s
gracious favour upon a person/event for special reasons or wishes.
|Creative pause:||Can you define what God’s “Blessings” really means to you?|
1 Numbers 6: 24-26 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.
*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.
Download/view a pdf file of this document here: easter6c_2013.pdf