Come let us worship our God: all praise be to the Eternal King of creation!
A Call to Worship
Christmas Day (iii) B 2017
“…The LORD has announced his victory…” so we all: “Sing a new song…”
Come let us praise our God: All honour and glory be to the LORD our King!
“…The LORD has revealed his righteousness to every nation…”! As God’s
people in this time and place, may we always be people who are just and fair.
Come let us in reverent awe thank our Holy God, the Righteous One: for the
LORD our God is faithful, compassionate and trustworthy - always and forever.
“...The LORD has remembered his promise to love and be faithful… and for
this we join with all creation in celebrating with shouts of joy in praise of God—
singing with one voice: “…a new song to the LORD, for God’s wonderful deeds.” Amen.
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 and Petition
Come let us worship our God: “…The LORD has announced his victory…” so we all:
Christmas Day (iii) B 2017
“Sing a new song…” All praise be to the Eternal King of all creation – past, present
and future. Come let us celebrate with joy together that the God whom we worship
has the capacity to communicate with us; and that as people with finite and simple
minds; nevertheless, we have been blessed to receive from God, messages that we
not only can understand, but through which we can make our personal responses. We
pray today for people whose personal situation prevents them from expressing and
sharing their feelings and responses about how God is in their life. We pray for all
people denied the opportunity to freely express their faith, because of oppression.
May their hearts, souls and minds express their responses to God in relevant ways.
Come let us praise our God: All honour and glory be to the LORD our King! “…The
LORD has revealed his righteousness to every nation…”! Come let us in reverent awe
thank our Holy God, the Righteous One: for the LORD our God is always compassionate,
faithful and trustworthy. Come let us celebrate with joy together that the God whom we
worship has the capacity to reveal to us God’s righteousness, especially as this is freely
available to all peoples and every nation. As God’s people in this time and place, may we
always be people who are just and fair in all our relationships and life experiences. We
pray today for people denied justice; and who are denied any opportunity to rejoice in
their faith in God. Grant to them the joy of knowing that God always delights in their faith.
Come let us celebrate with joy together that the God whom we worship “…remembered
his promise to love and be faithful…” and for this we join with all creation in celebrating
with shouts of joy in praise of God, singing with one voice: “…a new song to the LORD,
for God’s wonderful deeds.” Come let us celebrate with joy together that the God whom
we worship always remembers God’s ancient promises, and that they are trustworthy.
We pray today for people who have lost the capacity to remember their own unique story—
and whose memory of their achievements, losses and blessings are lost forever to them.
Grant to them, the serenity and peace that the LORD God of Peace alone can give to them. Amen.
A Personal Meditation
Apart from the usual instructions in the Enthronement Psalms to “sing a new song
Christmas Day (iii) B 2017
to the LORD…”; and to praise and glorify God their King, there are three words that
stand out for me in this Psalm. The words the psalmist sang are: “announced”,
“revealed” and “remembered”; and all are in the past tense – all accomplished acts.
How had “…The LORD has announced his victory…”? Many psalms remind us that
God makes ‘announcements’ through the ‘voice’ of nature; and through the committed
lives of people; and these ‘announcements’ leave us in no doubt about God’s capacity
to communicate with humanity and creation. As Professor Walter Brueggemann
writes: “….YHWH’s newly established rule concerned the decree of shalom for the
world over all the nations: ‘Say among the nations, ‘the LORD is King’”…Thus “…The
world is drawn into a coherent, cosmic whole. All creatures are glad for the new regime,
because YHWH governance assures the well-being of all creatures…”1 Thank God!
|Creative pause:||“…The LORD has announced his victory…”|
How had “…The LORD has revealed his righteousness to every nation…!” I always think
that ‘righteousness’ is a difficult word to understand – and especially depending on who
is the ‘righteous’ person/Being. Through researching various scholars, they suggest that
God’s ‘righteousness’ is synonymous with God’s justice, God’s holiness and God’s moral
and ethical sense of acting in a way that is always ‘right’ and ‘fair’. In worship, “….Israel
continually and consistently meets to recite the steadfast love, faithfulness, and mercy
of God. Israel names names and times and circumstances and specifics….”1 The people
of Israel knew from their long history with their covenant relationship with God - and their
own experiences - that however they in their human failings acted unfaithfully; that God’s
righteousness was utterly dependable and God’s fidelity was trustworthy – even if they
did not understand the outcomes; or the mystery of God’s will and plan for all of creation.
|Creative pause:||“…The LORD has revealed his righteousness to every nation…”|
Remembering or memory enables us to bring to our mind an awareness of someone/
something from the past that can guide us in our choices and decisions; and if we are
wise, we act and react according to the lessons learned from the outcome of that memory.
“The Psalms exhibit a community of deep memory, a memory of fidelity, transformation,
and miracle; a memory, moreover, that becomes a present reality and a passionate
possibility…1 “….Israel knows that what is remembered presses into contemporary life,
so that the present life, like remembered life, is an arena for fidelity with and before God…”2
Thus we have Psalm 98 celebrating the fact that “…The LORD has remembered his promise
to love and be faithful to Israel….”! That memory also became a present reality for them.
|Creative pause:||“…The LORD has remembered his promise…”|
1 Chapter 2, page 33
2 Chapter 5, page 50
From Text by Professor Walter Brueggemann
from “From whom no secrets are hid”
© 2014 Westminster/John Knox Press
Louisville Kentucky USA
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:
© 2017 Joan Stott –‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Based on verses from Psalm 98.
Used with permission.
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