October is a month with a particular focus on tackling poverty. Monday 17 October is the United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and 3-9 October is Challenge Poverty Week.
Call to worship
Friends, fellow travellers, all who connect online at this time …companions in worship … Let this be the place and time for: fellowship … conversation … solitude … contemplation … praise … silence … Let this be a crossing place, where paths human and divine, weave together … and just sometimes, blessing comes to those who persevere.
Prayer of approach
God, Holy and Living: Maker of heaven and earth, Healer of creation, Breath and fire of Life. We pause now to worship You, now as the seasons turn, we still ourselves in reverence, now as days turn short and nights grow long … Pausing, still, we wait on You … We, who need Your blessing upon our lives, as night gives way to dawn.
Holy God, We who have fallen short, missed the mark, lost our way in the shadows; we need Your blessing, Your good word upon us … to reach the goal, make the mark, find our way home. We who have so much to celebrate and also to regret: we need Your blessing, Your good word within us in our daily struggles; the obstacles faced, our burdens borne and challenges met, apart and together. Whisper Your blessing to us today, The blessing of a new, grace-soaked story to live by, in place of the tired old tales we repeat to ourselves. The blessing of the precious name You call us by, Your name for each of us, Your beloved in Christ. The blessing of a new direction of travel, the way that leads to life, the way of Christ. We wait on You … we who need Your blessing upon our lives, as night gives way to dawn.
Word of pardon/forgiveness
People of God all you who watch and wait, who persevere in prayer, who seek the blessing of the God of Life: “Your help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” “The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.” (Psalm 121 v2, vv7-8)
A home-made collect for Jacob
O Holy Mystery; who are you, who faces me here tonight at the crossing place? Are you human, angel, god or my own imagining? Now I must face you and not let go, not until you reveal your name or out of joint, I limp on into the dawn, blessed and new-named, a new me, a new day. Amen
Loving God, all our times are in Your hands. We give thanks, for the many who have made this journey before us here, in and around this church, this beloved place of worship and community life; where friends, fellow-travellers and companions, have found blessing in times of trial and struggle, celebration and festivity, all through lives of patient faithfulness and persistent prayer. These people, we name quietly now, in gratitude for all that they have given and every way that they have been a blessing
As Jacob wrestled for blessing and as Jesus urges us to pray always and not to lose heart, so in our turn we pray for these, our concerns of the day, naming them now:
- Global and national
- Local, parish and
- Denominational, Priority Areas and Presbytery
God, Holy and Living: Maker of heaven and earth, Healer of creation, Breath and fire of Life: As Your world turns on its way and all its people pass from night, into day and back into night again, may the prayer of Your people never cease and Jacob’s struggle for blessing and the widow’s demand for justice continue, until every voice in heaven, on earth and all of creation redeemed, cries ‘Glory!’ Until that day, we will join our voices to their persistent chorus in the prayer of Jesus: Our Father … Amen
Let us go now, to strive like Jacob for blessing, persistent as the widow demanding justice, praying always and not losing heart. And the grace of Christ attend us, the love of God surround us, the Holy Spirit keep us, this day and forever.