A Call to Worship
Pentecost 12C [Ordinary 20C] or [Proper 15C] 2010
Psalm 80: 1-2, 8-19

Holy Lord and God, all praise to you! You are
the great Gardener and Nurturer of your people.
You have planted us in the rich soil of your love:
may we grow and develop through your love.

Gracious and Almighty God, all praise to you,—
the great Cultivator and Nurturer of your people.
We have flourished through your many blessings:
may we blossom and bear fruit through your love.

Loving God, the radiant warmth of your love shines
down upon us from - you who are the great Harvester.
As we come to worship you, help us always to be faithful,
with our eyes turned to the Source of all light and joy. Amen.

Prayers of Lament and Petition
Pentecost 12C [Ordinary 20C] or [Proper 15C] 2010
Psalm 80: 1-2, 8-19

O Lord, our great and holy God, you have shown your love for
your people in so many ways – to every generation, and we rejoice
and give thanks for all we have received from you. Generous God,
you have planted the fertile seeds of your love deep in our hearts
and minds; they took root there and flourished, growing strongly;
and they have borne abundant fruits due to your tender care.

You too, O God, are our Gardiner and Nurturer, and you have
tenderly cared for us all our life. But now, evil has entered into your
garden, and suddenly our roots are exposed to all the elements.
Where previously, our roots had been held strongly in God’s care,
now they are bare and removed from the Source of nourishment.
Evil has come between us and God and our nourishment; and
we are wilting as we struggle to even survive in this harsh world.

O God, all that was good and holy in our life has been destroyed.
Forgive us, O God, that because of our pride and complacency,
we have abandoned you and your ways, and we have allowed evil
to enter your garden and wreak havoc there. Forgive us O God,
for not continuing with the basic requirements of any relationship
by neglecting the vital nourishment of our souls, our hearts and minds.
Now evil has crept in and taken over what was once a blessed unity.

Merciful God, we seek your forgiveness and your renewing powers;
so that once again, our roots can sink deeply into the familiar soil of
your healing and revitalising care. Restoring God, we come seeking
your invigorating presence and blessing. May we never again fail to
be your faithful people. May we once again be blessed and nurtured
by the radiant light that shines from your face to warm and encourage us;
so that we never again risk any separation from the care of our God. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 12C [Ordinary 20C] or [Proper 15C] 2010
Psalm 80: 1-2, 8-19

O Lord my God, I love the images of you as the tender Gardener—
nurturing and supporting your children until they bear an abundant
and life-giving crop! This image of a caring and nurturing God has
sustained me and my family through many generations, as we
have sought to faithfully serve you in ways that are pleasing to you.

Creative pause: Word-pictures of God help sustain me.

I am part of a blessed family, and my God, I thank you for this.
However, like all families, I have experienced upheavals when
evil has threatened the fabric of my family life, and when wayward
thoughts and actions have encouraged sin to rear its ugly head—
bringing devastation in its wake! In my bewilderment and pain,
I cried out to God! “Where do I go now? What should I do now to
help heal ands renew the disintegration of my family? My God,
where are you, when we all are in such desperate need of your love?”

Creative pause: In my bewilderment and pain I cried out to God.

O my God, even as I agonised over my situation, I also remembered
past events, and how in your merciful care I had grown and flourished!
I even bore fruit! As I try now move through this fear and devastation,
the memories of your past love has returned to me, and despite my
pain, I can give thanks for those precious memories, as they will help
me to learn not only from my past mistakes, but from past blessings!

Creative pause: Memories of past blessings are inspirational.

I felt as if I was separated from you because of all that ugliness, yet
my God, deep down in my heart and mind I know, that you have never
left me alone with my pain and guilt! Come to me once more, my God.
Turn your face towards me again, and shine your loving warmth and
light upon my cold heart; my agitated mind, and my faltering faith; so
that I may be saved from the sin-filled thoughts and actions that diminish
me. Help me to once again let my roots sink into your love, so that I can
once again start to grow and bear fruit, to the glory and praise of God.

Creative pause: My God has never left me or rejected me.

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:
© 2010 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.


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