A Call to Worship
Lent 6C (Palm Sunday) 2013
Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29

Give thanks for God was good! We celebrate the wonders of our God!
God’s faithful love endures forever! Praise be to God’s holy name.

Give thanks for God is good! Open for all people the gate to God!
God’s faithful love endures forever! We rejoice in God’s acceptance!

Give thanks for God will be good! Let us all honour and worship God!
God’s faithful love endures forever! This is the day that the Lord God
has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it, as we worship our God. Amen.

Prayers of Praise and Intercession
Lent 6C (Palm Sunday) 2013
Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29

As God’s people in this time and place, we gather now to praise and
glorify the wonders of our God! We give thanks and praise for God’s
great faithfulness to God’s people, and celebrate together the warm
welcome we receive from God as come in truth and sincerity to offer
our worship to God. As God’s people here today, we joyfully repeat
the ancient refrain: “...Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His
faithful love endures forever....”
We give thanks that the way to God
is always open to those people who seek to know and worship God.

Welcoming God, we pray now for people who have to struggle for the
freedom to express their faith in God; for people whose attendance at
their sacred places of worship is denied to them for social, political or
religious reasons; and for people denied the opportunity to gather for
worship because of age, illness, incapacity or incarceration. Loving
God, be present to each of them this day, giving them the comfort of
your abiding and ever accepting presence; and may the light of God’s
grace enliven their spirits. We pray for people who this day will leave
the community of faith as God’s earthly witnesses, and who this day
will enter into the eternal realm of God’s glorious and revealing presence.

Accepting God, we bring before our God the symbols of our worship—
whether they are simple or complex - and may our worship and prayers
be acceptable to our by God, because “.... This is the day the Lord has
made and we will rejoice and are glad in it...”
You are our Eternal God,
and we exalt and praise God’s holy name, giving our day by day, hour
by hour thanks, for God’s enduring and faithful love for all that God created. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Lent 6C (Palm Sunday) 2013
Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29

Gates make an interesting statement! I live in an area where
there used to be low fences with low gates. After a few years,
the gates were removed, rather than simply being left open all
the time; but now, high fences and locked gates are becoming
the “fashionable” norm, sending distinct messages of privacy,
exclusion and even hostility. When the first such fence was built
in my neighbourhood, my children describe even it to this day
as “Fort Knox”, and its owners live up to the implied reference!

Creative pause: Gates make an interesting statement about their owners.

Psalm 118 seems to be an odd collection of songs of celebration
and praise of God with other bits added, and initially, I thought that
the verses were out of sequence and did not even make sense!
“...19Open for me the gates where the righteous enter, and I will
go in and thank the Lord. 20Those gates lead to the presence of
the Lord, and the godly enter there. 21I thank you for answering my
prayer and saving me! 22The stone rejected by the builders has
now become the cornerstone.23This is the Lord’s doing, and it is
marvellous to see...”1
Now I see that it was God’s active and saving
grace that enabled the writer to enter the gates to God’s presence;
and that the once-despised nation of Israel would one day become
a great power and lead the world through those gates into God’s
holy presence. To a non-builder, the phrase “corner-stone” is odd,
but other translations refer to it as the “cap stone”, that Israel’s
crowning achievement, the culmination of its true God-inspired
nationhood had yet to be achieved, but that it would surely happen!

Creative pause: I give thanks for good resources that help me understand!

Another fascinating thing about the “corner-stone” is that it has also
been described as a “stumbling block”. The Prophet Isaiah prefaced
his warnings about this stumbling block in chapters 8:11-15, thus:
“...The Lord has said to me in the strongest terms…”2 And then in
28: 14-17 ....The Lord Almighty alone is the Holy One... But to Israel
and Judah he will be a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock
that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a
trap that entangles them...”3
God’s Promised-One would certainly
bring controversy and challenge to the “people of God”; and yet the
Psalmist sang: “...This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous to see...”
Then sang: “...Please, Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give
us success...”4
The Psalm ends with a song of praise and thankfulness,
celebrating his belief that God’s faithful love and endurance is reliable.

Creative pause: God is both a “Saving God: and a “Stumbling Block” to the unwary.

1 - 4 Are extracts from the ‘New Living Translation’, © 1996. Copyright All rights reserved.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189 USA.

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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