A Call to Worship
Lent 1A 2011
Psalm 32

We gather O God, to celebrate with joy the
lifting of the heavy burden of our sinfulness!
All people whose lives have been purified from sin,
sing and shout for joy - great is our Forgiving God.

Teach us and lead us O God, in the paths of honesty,
and may we learn the lessons of confessing our sin.
We count ourselves among the blessed,
because we have learned our difficult lessons.

O Lord our God, you are our hiding place,
our place of security and blessing.
What a joy is it is to know forgiveness of sin
and a renewed relationship with God! Amen.

Prayers of Penitence and Thankfulness
Lent 1A 2011
Psalm 32

Generous God, we gather together to share in our
mutual experiences of personal and joint brokenness,
failure and disappointment - as we know very well
that we are guilty of sin. Even though this is a very
unpopular concept these days, each of us are aware
of the weight of personal and shared sin that presses
down so heavily on us, and the knowledge that this
sin separates us from our loving and merciful God.

We each have a difficult lesson to learn, O God, and
we need the encouragement and support of each other
to give us the strength to throw away this heavy burden
of sin. God of compassion and forgiveness, we ask
that you help each of us in this struggle, so that we
may once again know the joy of forgiveness, and the
blessedness of being in a right relationship with our God.

God of community and comfort, we give thanks for the
love we have received this day, not only from within our
community of faith, but especially from you, our God of
hope and freedom. The weight of sin has been removed,
and the joy and security that is ours cannot be under
estimated – and we celebrate with thankful hearts and
minds, the sense of shared release and liberty we are
experiencing. Thanks be to our God. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Lent 1A 2011
Psalm 32

Guilt! Sin! Alienation! Suppressed fears! Shame!
Regrets! Stubbornness! Pride! These are not very
healthy or popular feelings and they are seldom
freely expressed these days! Yet they are very real
to me (and I suspect to other people as well), and
they are pressing heavily on my mind and heart;
on my health and wellbeing; and in my relationships.

Creative pause: I still want to do it all my way.

Gradually, the weight of those feelings began to
crush my spirit, and I chose to wander in the dark
alleys of non-acceptance and distraction to try to
avoid dealing with those issues. None of my tactics of
avoidance worked of course, and that crushing
weight only became heavier! Platitudes are not what I
need! What I needed was God’s and my own forgiveness!

Creative pause: Platitudes are not what I need!

Finally, eventually, and at long last…I threw away
my worthless independence! How gracious is our God!
With tenderness and love, the long-held clutch on
my sin was removed, and release, freedom, liberty
and joy filled my heart and mind; the weight of my
past slid off my back and was gone. But… even though
I knew God was waiting there to welcome me back
home again, the best part of it all was that I could go
to God assured of a new relationship, new trust,
and new hope – my self-imposed barriers were gone.

Creative pause: God was waiting to welcome me back home.

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:
© 2011 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year A. Used with permission.


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