May 17 Worship Guide
CALL TO WORSHIP
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
This Psalm speaks of both Israel’s historical experience and its present reality, and thus locates assurance of hope in present difficulties in past experiences of restoration and rejoicing.
- What are you longing to be restored during this time?
PRAYER OF PSALM 126
We come offering praise and glory to our great and glorious God who has breathed new life into our dry and dusty souls, giving us fresh hope and new enthusiasms for life and living, both individually and as a community of faith. We have each experienced times of loss and disappointment, yet our trustworthy God has turned these sorrows and pains into times of hope and expectation, breathing new life and joy into all our actions; as we seek to live in and through God.
Holy God, we pray that we may be good representatives and stewards of our roles and responsibilities, as we daily seek to live a faithful witness to you. We hope that others may see and know, that you are a God who is worthy of all honour and worship, and that your faithfulness and mercy is available to all who respond, and offer their love and commitment to you.
Renewing and restoring God, we rejoice in the new beginnings that you have made possible for us through your generous and forgiving love; and that past tears and regrets can stay in the past; and that with your inspiration and encouragement, we may reap a harvest of joy and peace, as your name is honoured and praised forever. Amen.
Joan Stott – "The Timeless Psalms" RCL Psalm Year B, used with permission.
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no Speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU EXPERIENCED A SENSE OF WONDER AT THE WORLD AROUND YOU OR SAT IN AWE OF GOD’S GREATNESS?
HOW WOULD IT CHANGE YOUR LIFE IF YOU TOOK REGULAR AWE-AND-WONDER WALKS OR TRIPS?
Today, may we be aware that worship is a way of life — it’s not just a once a week event. May our worship never cease. May we continue living in the Father’s presence, and may we continue being thankful for what he has done. Let us look to the world around us as a theatre for our praise.
Let us worship through generosity. We need to keep the church strong in this time. We need to continue the work God has given us locally and globally. Generosity is part of declaring together that our giving is in obedience and thankfulness to God for His overwhelming generosity toward us.give online
FOR FURTHER STUDY LEN THOMPSON HAS GIVEN INSIGHT ON HOW TO PRACTICE THE SACRED PATHWAY OF THE NATURALIST