A Call to Worship
Advent4B 2014
Psalm 89: 1-4, 19-26

Timeless God, today we sing of your unfailing love for us - and for all creation.
Both old and young gather together to celebrate your wonderful faithfulness.

God, you are the Inspiration and Completion of our faith, and we worship you.
We come to be spiritually anointed by your Word - that we may grow in grace.

Calling God, we gather to celebrate the news that God does call ordinary people
to serve and honour the Holy One, and that you empower them in their calling.
In response to God’s calling to us, in humility we sing together: “...You are our
Father, our God, and the Rock of our salvation.’”
All praise be to God’s name. Amen.

Psalm 89: 1-4, 19-26
A psalm of Ethan the Ezrahite.

1 I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever!
Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.
2 Your unfailing love will last forever.
Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.

3 The Lord said, “I have made a covenant with David,
my chosen servant. I have sworn this oath to him:
4 ‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever;
they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.’” Interlude

19 Long ago you spoke in a vision to your faithful people.
You said, “I have raised up a warrior.
I have selected him from the common people to be king.
20 I have found my servant David.
I have anointed him with my holy oil.
21 I will steady him with my hand;
with my powerful arm I will make him strong.
22 His enemies will not defeat him,
nor will the wicked overpower him.
23 I will beat down his adversaries before him
and destroy those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him,
and by my authority he will grow in power.
25 I will extend his rule over the sea, his dominion over the rivers.
26 And he will call out to me,
‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’

Prayers of Thankfulness and Trust
Advent4B 2014
Psalm 89: 1-4, 19-26

Holy God, the God and Father of countless generations; the God of people of
every age and circumstance in life; with thankfulness and joy in our hearts, we
come to worship you this day .Throughout every generation, there have been
people who have faithfully responded to your calling to love and serve you, and
we ask your blessings on those people in this generation, who have trustingly
committed themselves to serve how and where you have called them. We give
thanks that the Almighty God of the universe chooses to use fallible humanity
to fulfil God’s purposes in this your world. We give thanks for people in the past—
both humble and mighty in their powers - who have devotedly served humankind
and who in obedience to God’s calling, have faithfully laboured on for God - often in
difficult and challenging situations. Today, we honour their trusting faithfulness.
“Glory to God, glory to God, praise and alleluia!...Praise the name of the Lord!”1

God, you are the Inspiration and Completion of our faith, and we worship you.
We come to be spiritually anointed by your Word – so that we may grow in grace
and in the knowledge of our God and Father, who calls and empowers each of
us in individual ways to fulfil that holy calling. God of endless and steadfast love,
we give thanks that we have access through prayer and worship to the God whose
“faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens…” As researchers continue to make
discoveries about the immensity and age of outer space, that is quite an amazing
declaration to make about the trustworthy faithfulness and unfailing love of God!
In awed reverence, we honour and bless God’s holy name for God’s great mercies.
“Glory to God, glory to God, praise and alleluia!...Praise the name of the Lord!”1

In response to God’s individualised calling to people, in humility we personally can
respond: “You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation...” In awed
amazement we dare to pray: “You are my Father..” which invites us into a intimate
and special relationship with the Lord and Giver of our life - the Father all humanity.
“You are my God...” also identifies for us our relationship with God the Holy One,
who is the Beginning and Ending of our faith journey. Then when we in reverent
awe and trust humbly bow before God praying: “You are the Rock of my salvation...”
we are claiming all of the steadfast and unchanging love and strength of our God
to steady us along life’s often difficult pathway. All praise and thanks be to our God.
“Glory to God, glory to God, praise and alleluia!...Praise the name of the Lord!”1 Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Advent4B 2014
Psalm 89: 1-4, 19-26

In the selected verses of this psalm there are many very positive statements! “The
Lord said: I have made a covenant with David, my chosen servant. I have sworn this
oath to him...” “I have...”
chosen him from among the common people and anointed
him with holy oil. These were followed by the very positive promises from the Lord God:
“I will...” permanently establish and then increase the realm of King David; “I will....”
empower him to act as a warrior for God; “I will....” steady him and give him strength
to defeat his enemies; “I will....” give him my unfailing love; and my faithfulness will
provide him with my authority and power. How did David respond to all this? “...You
are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation....”
God established an unending
covenant with David, who rejoiced in the unconditional and never-ending promise of
God’s fidelity; and the constant, steadfast and enduring faithfulness of God’s love for
David! Later, with his dying words David celebrated: “The Spirit of the Lord speaks
through me; his words are upon my tongue....The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of
Israel said to me...“Is it not my family God has chosen? Yes, he has made an everlasting
covenant with me. His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail. He will
ensure my safety and success.”
2 Finally, David warned of the perils of disobeying God.

Creative pause: “The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart…” [David]3

Many years ago, when I first heard the quotation “God always chooses improbable
people for impossible tasks”
I was stunned at the concept of the risks that God took
when calling people to fulfil God-inspired work by using the least likely people for
those roles. Yet, in later life, I saw that happen time and time again, including what I
believed was my own calling by God for specific responsibilities and tasks! In those
experiences, I also discovered that when God calls anyone, God also empowers them!

Creative pause: When God calls anyone to a task, God also empowers them!

I believe one of life’s great pleasures is looking at the stars and moon at night, and
when I have trouble sleeping, I often sit and marvel at the immensity of the night sky!
Somehow for me, in daylight it is never quite so awe inspiring! The mystery and majesty
of the night sky always leads me into awed prayer. My prayers usually centre on words
similar to the psalmist’s: “God’s unfailing love will last forever. God’s faithfulness is as
enduring as the heavens....”
What an absolutely incredible faith statement and promise!

Creative pause: “God’s faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens....”

1 From “Together in Song” #171
Glory to God, glory to God
© Words by Jim Strathdee
Used with Permission,
LicenSing Licence No. 604543

2 2 Samuel 23: 2-3a, 5 (NLT)

3 1 Samuel 13:14 (NLT)

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation,
copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

*Revised Indexing Scheme from 'Consultation on Church Union' (COCU).

I acknowledge and give heartfelt thanks for the theological inspiration available from the writings of
Professor Walter Brueggemann; and through the resources from the internet and “The Text this Week” (Textweek).

If the Prayers and/or Meditations are used in shared worship, please provide this acknowledgement:
© 2014 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Used with permission.


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