We who have been gathered up in Jesus now pour ourselves out for him. We make of ourselves an offering that is pleasing to both God and to those around us. Can we make the world a better place, a more beautiful and sweet-smelling place because we live a life of praise and service? We could examine the impact we have on the world by making it a better place because of how we live in community. We could consider our influence on human community and how we enhance relationships and encourage others because of our fundamental belief in the image of God inherent in every created being. Our life of praise and witness to the glory of God has an effect; it brings a fragrance into all that we do.
Call to Worship – Fragrant Worship
(Before using perfume or incense in worship, check for asthma or allergies.)
One: Six days before the Passover, Martha served Jesus dinner at Lazarus’ house. There, Mary took a pound of costly perfume and anointed Jesus’ feet.
Many: What’s that in the air?
One: Mary poured her perfume on Jesus’ feet and then wiped his feet with her hair.
Many: She filled the air with the fragrance of her worship.
One: The prayers of the saints are like rising incense before God.
Many: The fragrance of their worship fills the air.
One: Today, let us raise a praise that touches the heart of God.
Many: Let the fragrance of our worship fill the air.
One: Let the fragrance of our worship fill the air!
Many: God, we offer our praise as a sweet fragrance that aspires to heaven. May the fragrance of our worship fill the air!
Kwasi Kena, The Africana Worship Book for Year C (Discipleship Resources, 2008), 66.
(inspired by John 12: 1-8)
Giver of the most expensive gift of all, help us to learn from you.
May we who are so adept at catering for our own wants,
make ourselves more vulnerable to the needs of others.
Let us live unselfishly and more sensitively, that we may spread love’s fragrance
wherever the odor of cynicism and despair hangs in the air.
Through Jesus Christ, our Savior.
Written by Bruce Prewer and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page. http://www.bruceprewer.com. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/02/prayer-of-commitment-loves-fragrance.html.
Blessing of Balm
(inspired by Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, Luke 7:36-50, John 12:1-8)
When we see
the body of Christ
still broken in this world,
may we meet it
with lavish grace
and pour ourselves out
with extravagant love.
Written by Jan L. Richardson and posted on The Painted Prayerbook. http://paintedprayerbook.com/2012/03/31/day-34-anointed. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/02/blessing-john-12-1-8.html.