A Call to Worship
Christmas Day (iii) Year B 2014
Psalm 98

Come, let us gather together to joyfully worship the Lord our God and King!
Because God’s holy arm has gathered all God’s people to God’s-own-self.

Come, let us sing a new song of praise and thankfulness to the Almighty One!
Because the Lord’s faithful love has saved and liberated God’s beloved people.

Come, let us all gather together and with one voice, singing a glorious new song
of praise and celebration, honouring and revering the Lord God of endless love!
We come, because God’s faithful love and mercy reaches out every day and night
to God’s children, so that they can learn to know and love their Holy God and King. Amen.

Psalm 98

1 Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds.
His right hand has won a mighty victory;
his holy arm has shown his saving power!
2 The Lord has announced his victory
and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!
3 He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel.
The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

4 Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!
5 Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song,
6 with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.
Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

7 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the earth and all living things join in.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands in glee!
Let the hills sing out their songs of joy
9 before the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with justice,
and the nations with fairness.

Prayers of Praise
Christmas Day (iii) Year B 2014
Psalm 98

We come to worship the Lord our God in a shared encounter of grace, mercy and
love, offering our joy-filled response to the summons and invitation to personally
bring our newly-inspired worship, praise and thanks to our God. We come too, Holy
God, filled with reverence and a sense of amazement that the Lord God of the
universe invites us to freely sing and shout our praises to God the Creator, whose
wonderful deeds of saving and liberating power fill us with excitement and awe. We
come to worship a proactive God, whose announcements of victory inspire our worship;
and whose revelations of God’s-Own-Self encourage us to burst into song, and with
one voice, join in the loud and joyous music – forgetting all our inhibitions in our joy!
“Sing a new song…Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!

Refreshing and Renewing God, we gather to celebrate our new circumstances and a
new reality, thanks to God’s “wonderful deeds”! We also come to acknowledge and
give thanks that God has acted in our lives as individuals, but more particularly, God
has acted in our community life, and therefore as a community, we respond with joyful
songs of praise. Whilst celebrating past mercies, God asks of us that we continually
look for new signs of God’s activities in the world around us, in nature and its daily and
nightly renewal; and with each new day and night, the spiritual renewal that occurs
amongst people. But even beyond our communities of faith, God continues to act in the
world, challenging, surprising and invigorating people in their daily routines; opening up
new possibilities for renewal in “world affairs” in the dialogue between nations; and God
continues to remind us that there is a Divine plan of salvation and liberation for this world
and all its peoples. Help us to always remain open to God’s actions around and within us.
“Sing a new song…Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy!

God of justice and holy righteousness, we come to worship you as you proclaim the truth
of your fairness and equity towards all nations, and of your promised coming amongst us
as King of all creation; and of all peoples. Almighty God, we live in a world that seems to
become more chaotic every day, with pressures from every direction urging us to deny or
compromise our beliefs and commitments to God. Praise be to God’s Holy Name that we
can trust the God of our forebears, who continues to bring calm and order out of chaos,
together with a just settlement of conflicts. All creation celebrates with enthusiastic joy
God’s “wonderful deeds”, and anticipates with joy, God’s refreshing us in our commitment
to worship and praise of our Lord and God, and to trust in God’s faithful love and justice.
“Sing a new song…Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Christmas Day (iii) Year B 2014
Psalm 98

Over the centuries, people of faith, courage, good will and integrity have enshrined
laws that give dignity and personal worth to individuals. Since before the time of Jesus,
nations have agreed to abolish slavery in their own lands, and these decisions have
continued to be made throughout the centuries; and yet there are still various forms of
slavery continuing even today. The United Nations has through its various Conventions
and Declarations agreed to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Rights of
the Child; the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination; the Elimination of
Violence Against Women; and many other justice and equity issues. Many of religious
and charitable groups have also established organisations committed to the welfare
of people regardless of their race, culture or religion. However, when the blessings and
curses of “culture and tradition” come up against these United Nations decisions, they
are often ignored! The same thing occurs when personal ambition and greed flourish,
and the “rights” of people are lost. The psalmist sang his song based on his knowledge
of God’s righteous and faithful love: “...for [the Lord] is coming to judge the earth. [and]
will judge the world with justice, and the nations with fairness….” God’s timetable is
not ours, and we are called to live each day in hope, anticipation and trust in our God!

Creative pause: God’s timetable for justice and fairness is not ours!

Despite all the above named Conventions and Declarations agreed to by most, if not all
the United Nations members states, Psalm 98 claims and asserts “....that Yahweh is king,
that God is graciously inclined and powerfully enthroned and that because of his rule, the
enemies are no threat.... this is the main theme of every song of celebration: the triumphant
rule of Yahweh against every agent who would diminish us.... with the concrete image of
king, the gracious ruler who does manage well, provide for, protect the weak and intervene
for the helpless.....”
1 We offer our thanks to God, and can take heart and rejoice because:
“....The Lord has announced his victory and has revealed his righteousness to every nation!”

Creative pause: “...The Lord has announced his victory...”

Old Testament history tells us that God chose the weakest and most downtrodden of peoples
to faithfully love and teach them about God’s-Own-Self, so that in God’s time, they would not
only change the world, but would also teach the world about God. The long and difficult road
to that goal was marred with failings and disobedience, yet God “....has remembered his promise
to love and be faithful to Israel. The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God….”

Creative pause: [The Lord] “will judge the world with justice, and the nations with fairness.”

1 Text by Professor Walter Brueggemann
From “Praying the Psalms” [chapter 2 /page 24]
© 2007 Cascade Books a Division of
Wipf & Stock Publishers

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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