These are for the third week in the Sacraments Series – Psalm 65 & 1 Corinthians 11: 17-34
Praise awaits You, O Lord,
to the ends of the earth.
Praise pours forth from our lips
as You enrich
the world around us
and bring fruitfulness to seed, plant and creature.
As summer fades,
the harvest of the handwork of summer
paints the canvas of fields and gardens.
Praise pours forth
for the strength of the seas,
roaring their disruption,
as land patterns shift and form at Your command,
and passengers are caught in the waves,
playing, working, captured in nets.
Praise pours forth,
as night follows day,
and carousing becomes the bird song of the morning,
telling of the wonder
that will be explored in the dawning light.
Bickering and criticising are easy patterns for our thoughts and words.
We notice the flaws, blemishes and problems
long before beauty seeps in under our skin.
We hurl angry words
full of contempt
for our situations,
failing to notice those in need around us,
or a world that does not know easy access to food, wealth, and compassion.
When praise does not fall from our lips,
You choose to draw closer,
until selfish human passion
to the dignity of humility.
You Saving Grace,
You look past all we have failed in,
and welcome us,
and make room for us to share Your story,
revealing heaven in the darkest places of life.
Prayers of the People
we have gathered this day
to express our praise and thanksgiving
in Your presence,
for Your are the one
who wipes our tears
and salves our blemishes,
for Your purpose.
You are the one
who places bread upon our tables
and invites us to eat
that we may know fulness and plenty
You are the one
who quenches our thirst
with the burst of grapes,
that we may sing and shout of Your wonders,
calling all to find their hope in Your embrace.
You are to be praised
for making space at the table
for the lost and the least,
when others would pass by.
Gathered round Your table
You call us to notice and to pray for each other,
and for the world in which we are placed.
Caught in an eternal moment,
our thoughts are trapped in time
with knowledge of home and news
that You welcome in prayer.
In the midst of this holiday season,
we pray for those who are not with us
but instead refreshing themselves
for the passage into autumn and winter.
While some will have enjoyed the scenery of local shores,
we pray especially for those
who are holidaying and living in the heatwave of the continent.
While the heat rises around them,
may the inner heat of anger be quelled by you.
In the scarcity of water,
may compassion dwell,
recognising the needs of all around.
As the school summer holidays enter their final week,
we pray for those who are awaiting exam results.
May we rejoice in achievement,
but also recognise effort and attempt.
Calm fraught hearts and minds
to see new opportunities and possibilities
when expectations are not met.
In this place of hope and plenty,
we remember those whose tables will be empty today,
whose futures will not be certain,
whose ambitions cannot be achieved.
Open our eyes to look beyond our own experiences,
to challenge the governments and companies
who do not offer support and education
As our praise rings,
may it sing with the voices of the past,
who have sung of Your love
and lived out Your grace.
May we follow their path to Christ.
Christ of the broken bread,
and the red wine,
You have offered these gifts
that we might discover Your creation
within our very being.
The work of our hands,
the gifts of our talents
are placed upon Your table,
ready to be blessed
for sharing in the world.