A Call to Worship
Epiphany 1B - Baptism of Jesus 2012
Psalm 29

Come, let us gather to worship God singing: “Glory”!
The voice of God is heard throughout all creation!

Come, let us gather to worship God saying: “Glory”!
The voice of God is heard in the raging storms, the
shaking earth and wild winds, bringing fear and anxiety.

Come, let us gather to worship God praying: “Glory”!
The voice of God is also heard in the stillness and peace
of God’s loving and welcoming presence amongst us;
come, let us worship and glorify our Glorious God. Amen.

Prayers of Praise and Exaltation
Epiphany 1B - Baptism of Jesus 2012
Psalm 29

God of heaven and earth, of space and beyond - glory, honour
and praise is humbly offered to you, God, our Beloved Known
and the Great Unknown. Your voice has been heard throughout
history in so many ways, and yours is the voice that summons us
to worship, and we celebrate the Holy One who is beyond all things.

God of the past, present and future, Who was, and is, and is to be—
we worship you this day as the Beloved Presence with us always,
no matter what happens in our life or death – you are there with us.
Your voice comes to us in so many ways, and sometimes we do
not recognise your tones, or we cannot interpret your words to us.
Ever-patient God, enable us we pray, to hear your messages to us
so that we may listen, love, and serve you as you deserve and desire.

Beckoning God, you call us to yourself, so that we may worship you, in
truth and in all honesty. The many voices of this world greedily seek to
intrude on your voice, and sometimes God’s messages become distorted
by louder voices. Help us to discern the true Voice of God, so that we
may obediently listen, obey, worship and serve you. We rejoice in the
strength that the Lord our God gives us, and for the blessing of God’s
peace, which the world neither gives, seeks after, or fully understands.

Pilgrim’s God, as we journey through life, and experience all that being
human entails, we who have known the God our forebears, can travel
in trust, faith and certainty, so that whatever happens, God’s voice will
always be gently calling us home to be with God – the Great Author and
Completion of our faith, and the Holy One whose name we whisper in awe.
Holy God, we come today, in reverence and trust, offering all that we are
and have to our God – that Voice – that is never silent or too faint to hear. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Epiphany 1B - Baptism of Jesus 2012
Psalm 29

The voice of God comes to people, including me in many ways—
sometimes softly and gently, sometimes like a loud and vibrant roar.
Other voices can intrude on me – from within and without of my life.
It is a life-time exercise to be able to discern these voices, and even
as I am nearing my end - or my beginning - that discernment is not
always accurate. But it is the multiplicity of voices that concern me.

Creative pause: It is the multiplicity of voices that concern me.

There is the voice of greed, that says: “You really deserve all that!”
That voice is very seductive, and it knows all my weak spots! Then
there is the voice of the insecurity of an older person; and the “What
if...” voices, that create uncertainty and hesitation in taking actions.
There is also the voice of selfishness that insists: “You have gone
without for so many years, and why should I consider other’s needs?”

Creative pause: My inner voices often speak the loudest.

There are the “outside” voices that insist that they are always right.
The media voices who offer so-called “expert opinions” on any given
topic and with the smallest of invitations, who seek to influence me on
any subject – often with a vested interest in the eventual outcomes.
There are the voices of political and religious “spokespersons” who
invariably follow the “party” line, until I do not know who to believe!

Creative pause: Who can I believe?

Inevitably, there are the voices from distant places, within or outside
my own country, where there are natural disasters or those caused
by human intervention; political upheavals and revolts; and the ripple
effects on many people and nations caused by inappropriate financial
management. These voices arise from disasters of many kinds, usually
with a tragic note in their tones. Of these, to which voices should I listen?

Creative pause: To which external voice should I listen and believe?

Then there is God’s voice! Sometimes it is a whisper of challenge, that
takes some navigating; other times it is a roar of protest that is easily
heard - and not only by me – but by many listening and attentive ears.
Sometimes God’s voice comes through a family member or a friend;
other times it comes from someone who dislikes or distrusts me, and
their intent is not always benign or gentle, but God still uses them to
impart a truth to me. Then there is the voice of God heard in worship,
when reading Scriptures, or meditating – that is the most profound voice,
that stirs me into an instant response of reverent awe, of thankfulness
and praise to God – for the blessing of being able to hear and respond.

Creative pause: The blessing of being able to respond to God’s voice.

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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