All praise and blessing be to God, who lives forever – through all eternity.
A Call to Worship
Advent 2C 2012
Luke 1: 68-79
We give thanks that our reliable God continues to fulfil all God’s promises.
All praise and blessing be to God, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen!
We give thanks that God looks with loving mercy on God’s faithful people.
All praise and blessing be to God, who alone does such wonderful things.
We give thanks that God’s love is a bright light breaking forth into and upon
us, giving God’s peace and lightening the lives of people who are in darkness. Amen.
Prayers of Trust and Thankfulness
We come together to sing the praises of our Faithful God, joining with Zechariah
Advent 2C 2012
Luke 1: 68-79
in his praises! Blessed be the Lord our God, for favouring God’s people with grace
and mercy, and with peace and joy. We celebrate our God’s direct involvement
with God’s people and give thanks for this great gift. We give thanks too, for the
way all God’s mighty promises have been revealed to struggling humanity as being
fulfilled and completed. Our minds and hearts cannot comprehend the magnitude
of these gifts, and so together, all we can do or say is: “Praise to the Lord our God
for the gift of God’s presence with us, and that we can believe in all God’s promises.”
God-Giving, Hope-Renewing God, just as that ancient priest celebrated the new hope
he had been given through God’s revelations, so we too praise and thank your God
for the renewal by which God’s hope continues to blesses us. God’s gift of hope is
always new and precious to us, because it is so much more that our idle day-dreams,
or our wistful wishes; that hope is so much more than our ambitions of personal or
professional success; and that hope is so much more than our most optimistic plans.
Through God’s gracious gift of a living hope, we at last have something to cling to
that is tangible and real; something that we can believe in, to trust in and rely upon.
We give thanks that Zechariah knew about and believed the ancient messages of the
prophets, and that he recognised God’s path to life was through the way of peace and
justice; mercy and forgiveness. We give thanks that he was able to interpret God's
message as a bright shining light after centuries of darkness. Light-Giving God, we give
you thanks that the darkness of fear, superstition and isolation has been overcome
through the holiness and righteousness of our God, and that nothing in this life can
ever defeat it; as we follow God’s light-revealing path to God’s fullness of life. Amen.
A Personal Meditation
In the season of Advent, our “Psalms” take a different context as they
Advent 2C 2012
Luke 1: 68-79
celebrate some of the great songs of praise found in the Gospels. Their
authors looked back through past centuries, and at the way God’s promises
had been fulfilled in people’s experiences. These “Gospel” songs celebrate
the way people trusted in God’s promises, and rejoiced in God’s goodness.
In this “Year of Luke”, I have been blessed again by the continuity that is
found in these scriptures as ancient promises are revived, relived, reclaimed
and celebrated, as they go on being fulfilled in amazing ways; and God’s
glory is revealed in surprising, even startling ways to people with open eyes.
|Creative pause:||May my eyes be always open to God’s surprises.|
Zachariah makes two very interesting claims in his song of praise as he sang:
“Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us. He has
been merciful to our ancestors by remembering his sacred covenant with them,
the covenant he gave to our ancestor Abraham. We have been rescued from
our enemies, so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness
forever.” “Now we will be… and now we have been…” show the recognition
of past blessings and the faith to look forward to future blessings from God.
How easy it is to forget God’s past merciful blessings to us as an individual—
and as a community of faith; which in turn, discourages our belief in the continuity
of God’s mercy, and the importance of the ongoing development of our faith.
|Creative pause:||The development of our faith in God is an ongoing journey.|
There are so many positives in this text: “sent”, “promised”, “remembering”, “saved”,
“without fear”, “showing the way to forgiveness”, “guiding us” and “light to those in
darkness”. I believe that the people of God had been without a prophet for over 400
years; and then quite suddenly, God had spoken again to them in an invigorating and
new way, and once again, hope in God dawned again on their dark and fear-filled
horizon. Such affirmations inspire us all to believe that if God has acted that way in the
past, why wouldn’t God continue to act now and in the future? However, I believe that
the real question is will your and my eyes be open enough, and our hearts and minds
be attuned enough to God to recognise God at work amongst us - connecting with us?
|Creative pause:||As God connects with us, may hope always dawn on our dark horizons.|
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:
© 2012 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.
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