A Call to Worship
Pentecost 16C [Ordinary 23C] or [Proper 18C] 2013
Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18

Creating God of pure intimacy and familiarity, we gather to worship you.
You are behind us, around us, above us and below us - you are here with us!

Creating God of knowledge and trust, we gather to praise and thank you.
You are before us, you surround, enfold and encircle us – you are here with us!

Creating God of awareness and understanding, we gather to revere you.
Eternal God - you are here with us - and you bless our past with forgiveness and
mercy; you bless our present life with grace, peace and joy; and may our future
be filled with the fulfilment of all God’s blessings, as we seek to love and serve you. Amen.

Prayers of Trust and Thankfulness
Pentecost 16C [Ordinary 23C] or [Proper 18C] 2013
Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18

Trustworthy God, we come to worship and thank you for the way you have
been a part of our entire life, you are here with us from our conception and
until we take our last breath. You are here – intimately involved with us; within
us and all around us. Yet despite this closeness, we also acknowledge that
you are utterly beyond us, above us, and far greater than us. Just when we
think we have come to a limited understanding of the holiness, beauty and
glorious majesty of our God, we discover again that you are totally beyond
us, and you are mysteriously unknowable - even to the most learned scholars
or to the most naive beginner learning about the God they are starting to trust.

Comforting God, it is so comforting that you know all our hidden dreams and
secrets; and that you know our nasty little habits that we keep hidden and
yet you don’t reject us because of them; and you know all our private fears.
But you also know all the gifts and graces that you planted within us, and
that you give us the courage to develop and use them to your greater glory
and for the enrichment of humanity – and so we thank you for all these gifts.
This Psalm speaks to us about the mutual intimacy God has with us - and
that we have with our Creating God; and we are challenged to consciously
live every moment of our life with God beside, behind and before us; watching
over us as God’s own unique creation; created with that rich inner spark
of God’s holiness within us – which always yearns to reach out to our God in
love and trust, and in the confidence and expectation of many new blessings.

Creative Love, you have taught us how to love, because you are Love; you
have taught us to give, share and receive, because you are Total Generosity;
you have taught us to cherish and nurture creation, because you are the true
Creator of all things; and you have taught us to trust, hope, believe and have
faith, because you are the Eternal God. We give thanks for our past that has
taught us about life and living; we thank you for the present time that opens up
possibilities for us and encourages us to reach out in trust and in anticipation
of more blessings; and we thank you for our mysterious future – that absolute
unknown that is filled with unimagined opportunities and surprises. And in that
unknown tomorrow, we will “....wake up in the morning, you are still with us...”! Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 16C [Ordinary 23C] or [Proper 18C] 2013
Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18

When I try to express the ways that the Great-God-who-resides-within-me
influences my life - the words are always inadequate. “..that rich inner spark
of God’s holiness within me...”
is not sufficient; “...bestowing on me that
deep goodness that is God...”
that is also is not definitive enough. Always, I
am a “work still in progress...” as God continues the work of creation within
me, opening up unknown or neglected old gifts that are even now being reborn.
Above all, I also need to remember that I was reverently created in love, for
Love’s own sake, and that the Great-God-who-resides-within-me still loves me.

Creative pause: I was reverently created in love, for Love’s own sake.

The Psalmist has several sub-themes within this one Psalm, and “knowing” and
“being known” are very significant to him. “.....God has examined my heart and
knows everything....... God knows my movements, my thoughts ..... and my
God’s hand was placed in blessing on his head, and it was too much
for him to deal with – it “......is too wonderful for me, too great for me to know!”
“....You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my
mother's womb. ...Your workmanship is marvellous - and how well I know it.”

All-knowing God, every human being can have this same experience and sense
of being “known” by God, if they choose to become vulnerable before God, and
acknowledge their dependency upon God, as their Lover, Maker and Sustainer—
but in this age of “doing-our-own-thing”, many rich experiences are lost to them.

Creative pause: God’s care and love for me overwhelms me at times...

The imagery of the umbilical cord before it is cut between the mother and her child
helps me to understand a little how connected I am to God, and how connected
God is to me, and the intimacy of both those two-way relationship are extraordinarily
special. I was very blessed to be invited into the labour wards after both of my two
grandsons were born, and I was able to see the life still pulsing through that cord
between my daughter and her babies. Through some mysterious power within that
Divine cord of love and acceptance, I am still connected to God, as God is to me!

Creative pause: I am still connected to God, as God is to me!

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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