1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20):The child, Samuel, who is serving God with the Eli the priest, hears God’s voice in the night. He mistakenly thinks it is Eli, but then Eli explains it is God, and instructs him to say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.” Then God gives Samuel a message of judgement against Eli’s family because of his corrupt sons. In the morning Samuel tells Eli the prophecy.
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18: The Psalmist celebrates the God who has searched him and knows him, who sees him in all the parts of his life, and who goes before and follows him. This God created all the intricate parts of his body – wonderfully – and formed him in his mother’s womb, recording all the days of his life in God’s book.
2 Corinthians 4:5-12: God’s apostles don’t preach themselves but Christ crucified. The light of Christ shines in their hearts, but they are like fragile clay jars to show that the power is from God. They endure many different kinds of suffering and persecution, but the life of Christ is at work within them even as their bodies are dying. Our present struggles are nothing compared to the glory that awaits and that lasts forever.
Mark 2:23-3:6: Jesus’ disciples pick grain to eat as they are walking along, and the Pharisees challenge Jesus on this, because it was the Sabbath. But Jesus points them to David eating the sacred bread from the temple. Then he tells them that the sabbath was created for people, not people for the Sabbath, and he is Lord of the Sabbath. Then Jesus heals a man with a damaged hand and challenges the critics who want to accuse him of working on the Sabbath. But they do not respond.
(Bible summary by John van de Laar, Sacredise)

Elements of worship – links within this website
Components of worship
Prayer of thanksgiving
Prayer of confession/prayers of who we are
Words of Assurance
Prayer for Illumination
Prayers for others
Lord’s Prayer
Prayer of Dedication
Benediction and sending out

Meditation (on the Psalm)
Search me, O God,
know my heart.
Know when I sit, and when I rise,
discern my thoughts, my truths and lies.
Watch for when I travel forward,
when I stumble, fumble, wayward.
Search me, O God,
know my heart.
Listen to my speaking tongue,
anticipate its healing, and its harm.
Stay close to me, before, behind,
let me feel on my shoulder, your gentle hand.
Search me, O God,
know my heart.
I do not understand your wisdom,
cannot attain or show or fathom.
I can wonder; stand in awe
at ocean’s edge, feet wet on your shore.
Search me, O God,
know my heart.
(Source: Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story – link includes an audio of the meditation)

Prayers of the People
You, O God, love us from the moment of our conception,
You know us and you love us in the womb,
You love us and you call us from before the moment of our first breath,
and you love us when we first see the light of day.
As a mother/father loves her/his child before she/he ever sees it,
and then embraces it gently from the moment of its birth,
so you love us – and we thank you.
Help us dear God to love one another in this way….
Lord hear our prayer.
You love us, O God from the time of our naming
You love us in our growing and hold us as we take our first steps.
You love us and walk beside us
as we explore the world with eager hands and eyes
As a mother/father loves her/his child as she/he sees it grow and develop
so you love us—and we thank you.
Help us dear God to love one another in this way….
Lord hear our prayer…
You love us, O God, as we mature and seek our way,
You love as we become aware of the world around us,
You love us as we smile and play,
you even love us when we say no and when we begin to stray.
As a mother/father loves her/his child as she/he sees it become proud and tall,
so you love us even when we sin and fall..
Help us dear God to love one another in this way….
Lord hear our prayer…
We thank you God for loving us when we are unloving
for caring for us when we are uncaring,
and for calling to us when we go far away….
Help us dear God to love one another in this way…
Lord hear our prayer…
Lord hear our prayers of love this day for those around us,
for those we have held before you in our time of sharing,
and for those we have thought of in our moments of caring:
(prayers are shared)
Lord hear our prayer….
We ask all these things in the name of Christ Jesus,
who is our Lord and our brother.  Amen
(Source: adapted, Rev. Richard J. Fairchild)

Contemplative activity
Joanna (Spacious Faith) describes an activity for Psalm 139 that adds deeper meaning to this beautiful and meaningful psalm.
To begin, find a quiet space and gather your supplies – a Bible, blank paper or sketchbook journal page, black pen, pencil, ink pad (optional)
To engage in the practice
Sit quietly for a few moments. Take several slow, deep breaths and ask God to make you aware of the Spirit’s presence with you.
Read Psalm 139:1-18 slowly and prayerfully – aloud if possible (or if in a group settting, take turns to slowly read a verse at a time).
Lay one hand on the blank paper and trace around it with the black pen.
Turn your hand over and examine the lines on your palm. Use the pencil to lightly sketch in your palm lines. (The purpose is not to get the lines perfect, but to pay close attention to this one small part of your amazing body.)
As you trace your hand and sketch in your palm lines, know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Imagine the intimacy of God knitting you together in your mother’s womb. Realize that God knows the curve of each finger, each line on your palm.
If you want, you can also use an ink pad and place your thumb and finger prints in the drawing. Look closely at your fingerprints – nobody else in the world has fingers exactly like yours.
Now begin writing out Psalm 139, writing the words around the outside of your hand drawing–up the side of the hand, then around each finger and down the other side. When your text has gone all the way around the hand drawing, simply make a second row of text.
You might want to write all of Psalm 139:1-18, or you might pick out the verses that speak most deeply to you in the moment. (A shortened version for writing out would be verses 1-7 and 13-16.)
After you have written the scripture around your hand, simply place your hand inside the drawing. Allow God to speak to you. Accept the reality that God knows you deeply and loves you deeply.


You Have Searched Me, Lord, And Known Me
NETTLETON D (“Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”)
You have searched me, Lord, and known me! All my life is in your care.
When I lie awake in evening, you are always with me there.
When I rise to greet the morning in an attitude of praise,
what I learn from you is humbling: You already know my ways.
Lord, you know the song I’m singing and my words before I pray.
You’re behind me and before me as I travel through each day.
You once knit me all together; You created me by grace.
In your eyes, you see and love me as you treasure all my days.
Lord, I try to learn your wisdom, but I cannot understand.
Yet your love is all around me; I am part of all you’ve planned.
Let me sing your praise each morning, let me serve you all day through,
and in evening, make me peaceful, knowing this: I’m loved by you!
Biblical Reference: Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
Tune: John Wyeth’s Repository of Sacred Music, 1813
Text: Copyright © 2014 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:

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Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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