Prayer: Blessed be God forever and ever. By God’s great mercy, we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which nothing can destroy or wither. Loving God, keep us faithful and active in Christ’s Church. Send us out into the world to share Your love and justice. May we continue to be Yours forever, daily growing in Your grace, ever increasing in Your Holy Spirit, until we come to Your glorious Kingdom. Amen. (Word and Sacrament study book, PCC 1987).
Read 1 Peter 1: 3 – 9
This reading from 1 Peter mentions our joy of living in Christ, yet also that there are tough times and times of trials. God never said that being a Christian would be easy. Frequently we reflect upon our lives and can divide up our lives into times of joy, times of sorrow, and times of peace. Yet we know that in all things, God is with us.
Our Order of Worship is exactly like our lives. There are certain times for everything. In our worship today, the Order of Worship is divided up into four sections. First we are Called to Worship. Second, the Word is proclaimed. Third, the Great Thanksgiving (and this is where the Lord’s Supper is celebrated). And fourth, the Dismissal.
Yet even before we attend Worship on Sunday, we must prepare our hearts through prayer and study of God’s most Holy Word. Preparing our hearts helps to hear what God is telling to us through Worship. Preparing our hearts for Worship helps us to accept what God is telling us to do. Preparing our hearts for Worship helps centre us into the life and work of God.
On Sunday, in some Churches, the Organist or Worship team is softly playing music. This music is a reminder that we need to come before God with love, joy, and gratitude.
When you step into the pew before Worship begins, remember to say a prayer to centre yourself before God. If you are leading in Worship, remember to say a prayer to centre yourself before God. This is called the Gathering of God’s people.
Prayer: We rejoice O Lord, knowing that You have chosen us through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ. We praise You that through Your great mercy, You have given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Amen.