A Call to Worship
Ascension Day, Year B 2015
Psalms 47 and 93

The Lord Jehovah, the Lord our God is King - forever and ever. Amen.
The Lord our God is robed in majesty and glory, with power and strength.

The Lord God, Jehovah, reigns as King from the everlasting past. Amen.
The throne of God our Lord and King has stood from time immemorial.

We sing praises to the Lord our God; we sing praises, because God reigns
as Lord over all creation; because God is mightier than all creation. Amen.
The Lord God’s reign is holy forever and ever; the Lord’s rule is honoured
before all peoples, all nations, and over all creation! The Lord is King forever. Amen.

Psalm 47
For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

1 Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise!
2 For the LORD Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth.
3 He subdues the nations before us, putting our enemies beneath our feet.
4 He chose the Promised Land as our inheritance,
the proud possession of Jacob’s descendants, whom he loves.


5 God has ascended with a mighty shout.
The LORD has ascended with trumpets blaring.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises!
7 For God is the King over all the earth.
Praise him with a psalm.
8 God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne.
9 The rulers of the world have gathered together
with the people of the God of Abraham.
For all the kings of the earth belong to God.
He is highly honoured everywhere.

Psalm 93

1 The LORD is king! He is robed in majesty.
Indeed, the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength.
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
2 Your throne, O LORD, has stood from time immemorial.
You yourself are from the everlasting past.

3 The floods have risen up, O LORD.
The floods have roared like thunder; the floods have lifted their pounding waves.
4 But mightier than the violent raging of the seas,
mightier than the breakers on the shore—the LORD above is mightier than these!
5 Your royal laws cannot be changed.
Your reign, O LORD, is holy forever and ever.

Prayers of Thankfulness and Trust
Ascension Day, Year B 2015
Psalms 47 and 93

We come to worship the God who is our Eternal King - forever and ever—
the God who is also the Holy One, whom we have come to know and trust
throughout the years of our lifetime. Yet, because of the mystery and wonder
that always surrounds our Creating God, we acknowledge that we will never
know or understand who and what God really is. Nevertheless, what we do
know, encourages us to praise and thank our God, and to place our whole
trust in God as our Lord and King, who has reigned from time immemorial—
because God’s reign is holy forever; and God’s throne is based on holiness.
God “…rules in kingly might and all is just and right: to God all praise and glory!”1

The Lord is King of all creation and is clothed in majesty and glory, and with
power and strength; and God’s everlasting throne is high above all nations
and all peoples who gather to offer their praises; and who sing of God’s eternal
splendour and of the lustre of God’s presence that enlivens and enlightens all
our living. The Lord our God and our King has reigned from the unmeasured
past and will reign into the unimagined future, all praise be to God’s Holy Name.
God “…rules in kingly might and all is just and right: to God all praise and glory!”1

Lord God, our King, we gather to sing your praises, because you are Lord and
Creator of all things; and mightier than anything in all of creation. We give our
thanks and praises to our Trustworthy God and King; and we want to respond
to God’s power and majesty in appropriate ways. In reverent awe, we marvel
at the wonders of God’s creative powers; and rejoice in the glory of all God has
created, as an expression of the Being of our Unknowable yet Knowable God—
yet that Mighty God is the Lover all that has ever been and will ever be created.
God “…rules in kingly might and all is just and right: to God all praise and glory!”1 Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Ascension Day, Year B 2015
Psalms 47 and 93

According to the internet, unconfirmed reigns of monarchs from ancient Egypt
to more modern times are recorded as 94 years long in ancient Egypt; and 93
years long in Korea; and confirmed reigns by “Subhuza” from Swaziland of 82
years and 254 days. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest serving British monarch,
but there have been many others from Europe, Asia, Africa and from within the
Holy Roman Empire who have reigned longer than she has. With all the apparent
interest in films and TV series on monarchies – imagined or real - they are in stark
contrast to that which is celebrated in Psalms 47 and 93! History has taught us
that not all monarchs are benevolent or even kind, and that they often enjoyed
misusing their powers on their unsuspecting subjects. Power misused by any
leader is a contradiction to the royal role expected of Israel’s “shepherd kings.”

Creative pause: The reigns of all monarchs are limited – but not so with God the King!

Professor Brueggemann suggests that we have a clearer understanding of the
words: “The LORD is king!” (Psalm 93:1a) with “...YHWH rules” or “YHWH reigns” ...
as YHWH is already king and does not need to be enthroned...”
2 Brueggemann
also suggests reading Moses song in Exodus 15: 18 “The LORD will reign forever
and ever!”
3 and Exodus 19: 1, 3-6: “Exactly two months after the Israelites left
Egypt, they arrived in the wilderness of Sinai....Then Moses climbed the mountain
to appear before God. The LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “Give
these instructions to the family of Jacob; announce it to the descendants of Israel:
‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’
wings and brought you to myself. Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant,
you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all
the earth belongs to me. And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’..”

Creative pause: “The LORD will reign forever and ever!”3 Hallelujah! Amen!

Harvest Festivals or Harvest Thanksgivings are usually celebrated in autumn, or its
equivalent, when the harvests are all gathered in and secure. The “harvest” may be the
fruits of the partnership between the earth, the workers and the Creator; or they may
be the “harvest” of learning and achievements; but God the Creator and Ruler of all
things is worshipped and honoured because of that particular “harvest”. Psalms 47
and 93 were part of the autumn festivals of celebration for the people of Israel, as they
celebrated not a new knowledge, but another new experience of God’s Kingly reign or
rule over the powers of chaos, caused by people and/or in the natural world. On the
day we celebrate Christ’s ascension in power and glory to the eternal throne of God—
we read these ancient psalms that foreshadow that glorious triumph of God over all
creation, past present and future; as God reigns - always clothed in holy majesty and
timeless glory, and blessed with eternal power and strength as the Lover of all creation.

Creative pause: God the King reigns over everything that is known and unknown.

1 From “Together in Song” #110 Vs 2
“What God’s almighty power has made”
© Words by Honor Mary Thwaites
Used with personal permission

2 Text by Professor Walter Brueggemann
& William H Bellinger Junior from “Psalms”;
Psalm 93, page 402/3
© 2014 Cambridge University Press

3 Exodus extracts: 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:
© 2015 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Used with permission.


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