A Few Opening Meditations

A Sunday Prayer

Now is surely the moment!
the time –
on this first day of a new week –
to worship.
And as we come to be together to worship our God –
let’s not miss this moment!
pass it by –
sit waiting for the next thing to happen –
Let’s worship!
Let’s each of us and together – as fully as we’re able – worship!
Worship our God! … Let’s pray:
Lord of all!
Lord of this glorious universe –
gone so horribly wrong by our failure to glorify you in it –
we come even so
at your call
to glorify you in it still
to honour you, ever present
and thank you with all our hearts.
Lord of my days
however many
in you I am secure –
Praising you for today –
for family,
and commiting myself to be reconciled to those I know you call me to be reconciled to.
To the God who speaks
the God who hears
we thank you
and we honour you with all that is in us.
Lord of my heart, my life –
Jesus, friend, the song of joy that is in me –
you lift me up
you waken me to life!
You choose to be more intimately close to me than even my sweetest earthly tie …
I pray your spirit of truth in me.
Each of us, and together,
we thank you,
you who make the impossible possible
Make us as one, dear God,
one joyful, grateful song of praise to you –
as now we sing together in our hearts and with our voices your songs
By Ruth Morgan.

Aroma of Worship

incense sticks
Optional set up: Gum leaves, display of verses, music.
What are some of your favourite smells?
The average human being is able to recognize approximately 10,000 different odors. Our sense of smell allows us to taste, to recognize what is safe or unsafe, to remember experiences and places, to identify our family right from the moment of birth.
Aroma has always been an important part of worship and ceremony. There are many passages in the bible about our lives being a pleasing fragrance to God.
The love we bring, the experiences we bring, the prayers, the sacrifices and the hopes of all gathered in love for God are a sweet aroma to our creator.
We are going to rest for a moment now. Take some deep breaths. Breathe in the fragrance of the gum leaves if you like as you reflect on God inhaling the love of his creation. You may also reflect on the passages on the screen.
Listen to ‘An arc of Doves’ by Brian Eno and display following verses:
May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Psalm 141:2
For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:15
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14

What a friend we have in Jesus

Optional Setup: Display of hymn and clip.
As a Christian community we celebrate friendship with Jesus and how transforming that relationship is for ourselves and the world.
We are going to listen to an old hymn now, written by Joseph Scriven as a poem for his sick mother.
Joseph’s story is amazing. He is someone who discovered the power of friendship with Jesus. At 25 years old he lost his fiancé in a horse riding accident the day before his wedding. He came to the river in Ireland where they were to meet and found she had fallen from her horse and drowned. Heartbroken he moved from Ireland to Canada and worked as a teacher where he became engaged to a lady named Eliza. She became ill and died before their wedding.
Around the same time that Eliza died, Joseph received word from Ireland that his mother was ill. He could not go to be with her, so he wrote a letter of comfort and enclosed one of his poems entitled ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus.’
Joseph spent the remainder of his life giving all his time, money and even the clothes off his own back to help the less fortunate and to spread the love and compassion of Jesus wherever he went.
Let’s enjoy the gift of that poem now.
Display hymn words with video clip:

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

 Joseph M. Scriven, 1820-1886

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.