We gather to worship the Holy One who’s “…Spirit hovered over the waters…”1
A Call to Worship
All Saints' Day, Year B 2018
We come together to recognise all God’s creative activity around and within us.
We gather to worship our Creating God who is also still “…The King of glory…”
We come in humble prayer, asking that we “…receive the LORD’s blessing…”
We gather in awe-struck wonder to praise the LORD, celebrating that “The earth
is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him…”
We come into God’s welcoming presence to worship and thank our God; but also
we rejoice - that despite our human failings, that God chooses to be at home in us. Amen.
A psalm of David.
1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him.
2 For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas
and built it on the ocean depths.
3 Who may climb the mountain of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
who do not worship idols and never tell lies.
5 They will receive the LORD’s blessing
and have a right relationship with God their saviour.
6 Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.
7 Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.
8 Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty;
the LORD, invincible in battle.
9 Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.
10 Who is the King of glory? The LORD of Heaven’s Armies - he is the King of glory.
Prayers of Trust and Thankfulness
Trustworthy God, we gather to worship the Holy One who’s “…Spirit hovered over
All Saints' Day, Year B 2018
the waters…”1 bringing order out of chaos; establishing the universe as we now
know it – in all its beauty and diversity; and we especially give thanks that we can
experience and recognize wherever we look or go, that God’s creative activities are
ongoing, bringing life and vitality to all of creation. Today, we give thanks that God’s
creativity is within and around us each as individuals and as communities, and that
it involves God’s-Own-Self inter-acting deep within us, in unique and personal ways—
bringing healing and wholeness where there has been pain and isolation; and where
there has been brokenness and destruction, companionship, guidance and blessing.
Creating God, we gather to worship you because for all eternity you are “…The King
of glory…the LORD, strong and mighty; the LORD, invincible in battle...” against all that
separates us from you and your wondrous love for all that you have created, and will
ever create. The psalmist assures us that “…Only those whose hands and hearts are
pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the LORD’s blessing
and have a right relationship with God…” We confess that we have not always been
pure; that we have told lies to make our story more believable; and that we have not
given God our sole allegiance. In trust we come, asking that our Loving God will grant
to us a pure heart when we confess our sin; and in humble prayer and with renewed
hope in our Liberating God; we ask that we all may “…receive the LORD’s blessing…”
Welcoming God, we gather in awe-struck wonder to praise the LORD, celebrating that
“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to
him…” We come into God’s Holy Presence to worship and thank our God; but also
we rejoice - that despite our human failings, that God chooses to be at home within us.
We give thanks that God has so enriched and blessed our living and loving; and has
enabled us to serve and care for all that God creates – especially God’s very vulnerable
people - for whom we have a responsibility to nurture and support. “Worship, honour,
glory, blessing, LORD we offer to your name; young and old, their praise expressing,
join your goodness to proclaim. As the saints in heaven adore you, we would bow
before your throne; as your angels serve before you, so on earth your will be done.”2
A Personal Meditation
In 1 Samuel, chapter 4 we are told of the Ark of the Covenant being taken by Israel
All Saints' Day, Year B 2018
into their battles, as a symbol of God’s presence with them; and it is assumed, that
the Ark was then returned to “…the mountain of the LORD…”, which various scholars
instruct us is what happened in Psalm 24. Can you imagine the festive feeling to have
that symbol of God’s presence back again in its rightful place? The question is sung
by the priests: “…Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy
place…?” The response sung by the people indicated their moral suitability; only the
people with “…hands and hearts that are pure..!” Professor Rolph Jacobson, in the
“Working Preacher” podcast claims that Psalm 24 is about two entrances. The people
of God entering into the ‘holy hill’ or “…the mountain of the LORD…” and into God’s
Holy Presence; and God enters into our presence when God comes amongst us when
the “...King of Glory…” enters through those “…ancient gates…the ancient doors…”
|Creative pause:||“…Who is the King of glory…” for you?|
The psalmist also asks this question: “…Who is the King of glory…”? Verses one and two
give the first answer: “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it…For he laid the earth’s
foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths…” This refers to God’s triumph
over the chaos of creation and the deep waters that covered the earth when: “…The earth
was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was
hovering over the surface of the waters…”1 The second answer is: “…The LORD of Heaven’s
Armies - he is the King of glory.” The LORD who is the powerful and Mighty Warrior, who
triumphs over all the forces of chaos and evil; such is the radical sovereignty of King YHWH.
|Creative pause:||“…The LORD of Heaven’s Armies - he is the King of glory.”|
What has all this to do with All Saints Day? The link is with the Old Testament reading for
that day: “… In Jerusalem, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will spread a wonderful feast for
all the people of the world….There he will remove the cloud of gloom, the shadow of death
that hangs over the earth. He will swallow up death forever! The Sovereign LORD will wipe
away all tears. He will remove forever all insults and mockery against his land and people.
The LORD has spoken! In that day the people will proclaim, ‘This is our God! We trusted in
him, and he saved us! This is the LORD, in whom we trusted. Let us rejoice in the salvation
he brings..!’”3 Then, 850 years later, in the vision to John in Revelations, that same message
was received: “…Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old
earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone…Look, God’s home is now among his
people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He
will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
All these things are gone forever.”4 The good news in all this is that while we mourn the
physical loss of loved one who have died; “…God’s home is now among his people..”4
because: “…they will receive the LORD’s blessing and have a right relationship with God…”
|Creative pause:||“…God’s home is now among his people…and they will be his people.”4|
1 Genesis 1:2 (NLT)
2 From “Together in Song” #772
“Worship, honour, glory, blessing”
Words by Edward Osler.
Words are in the Public Domain.
3 Isaiah 25: 6-9 (NLT)
4 Revelations 21: 1, 3b-5a
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 help and inspiration so frequently available from the writings of Professor Walter Brueggemann and Professorial brothers Rolf and Karl Jacobson; and the resources from "The Text this Week" (Textweek).
If the Prayers and/or Meditation are used in shared worship, please provide this acknowledgement:
© 2018 Joan Stott –‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Based on verses from Psalm 24.
Used with permission.
Download/view a pdf file of this document here: allsaintsdayb_2018.pdf