A Call to Worship
Easter 5B 2015
Psalm 22: 25-31

We gather together to offer our praises to the Lord our God and Glorious King.
Holy forever is our God and King, the One who is the strong foundation of our life.

We gather together to worship the Lord our God, to offer God our reverent awe.
All creation knows and acknowledges the awesome powers of our Creating God.

We gather together to acknowledge, that we as God’s own people live finite lives;
and we are called to tell God’s good news, we will live and die as witnesses to God.
We give thanks that our children will also be witnesses to God, called to teach future
generations about the awesome wonders of our God; whose righteousness inspires
and blesses us as we faithfully fulfil our role as witnesses to God’s truth and justice. Amen.

Psalm 22: 25-31
For the choir director: A psalm of David,
to be sung to the tune “Doe of the Dawn.”

25 I will praise you in the great assembly.
I will fulfil my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied.
All who seek the Lord will praise him.
Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
27 The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.
All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
28 For royal power belongs to the Lord. He rules all the nations.

29 Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
Bow before him, all who are mortal, all whose lives will end as dust.
30 Our children will also serve him.
Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
31 His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
They will hear about everything he has done.

Prayers of Thankfulness and Praise
Easter 5B 2015
Psalm 22: 25-31

Ever-present God, we gather together to offer our praises to the Lord our God and
Glorious King; whose own holiness has become the firm foundation of our faith, and
of our very being and existence! Wherever God’s people meet together, they joyfully
celebrate the renewal of their commitment to God with thankful hearts and praises;
so that all who honour the Lord God, know God’s special joy and that it is everlasting.
We give thanks as we acknowledge that God is the Quiet Centre and Source of life
in all of creation; in every human being; and in our own inner self; and we ask that God
will enliven within each of us, an awareness of the reality of God’s constant presence
always actively present in the world, amongst people of all races, classes and cultures.

Today, we gather together to worship the Lord our God; to offer God our reverent awe;
our thankful prayers; and our willingness to join in that special fellowship with God, and
all God’s people wherever they live, and in whatever are their circumstances in life.
The psalmist sought to praise God on a global scale, because there are no limitations
on God’s power or mercy; and so we join with the author in singing God’s praises and
offering our thanks that God does not discriminate against anyone. All creation knows
and acknowledges the wonderful powers and creative majesty of ours and their God—
whose Spirit hovers over all creation, reviving and renewing it - and even over us. We
join in with the psalmist’s prayer that “...the whole earth will acknowledge the Lord...”

Challenging God, you have called us to share the message of the way you choose to
be involved with each human being, and that each one of us is precious in God’s sight.
May we fulfil our responsibilities in assisting our children and grandchildren to learn of
God’s enduring love for each of them individually; so that others can learn about “....the
wonders of the Lord...”
As individuals, may we always remember the gracious mercy
and generosity of our God; so that “...Future generations will hear about the wonders
of the Lord....
[and] will be told to those not yet born...about everything he has done...” Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Easter 5B 2015
Psalm 22: 25-31

There can be little doubt that Psalm 22 is a deeply personal prayer to the God
who hears and answers prayers. In the deeply lamenting prayer of the psalm—
verses 1-21 - there are 17 “me”; 9 “I”; “my God” 4 times; “the Lord” 4 times;
and “him” 3 times. Whilst this section is extremely personal, the author focuses
and concentrates on God and God’s activities. After verse 21, the tone, the “feel”
and message of the psalm changed when God responded to his prayers and his
lamenting. In comparison, there are only 4 “me”; and with 5 “you/your” and 3 “he”;
8 “him”; and 5 “the Lord” – these are all addressed to or about God. The focus
had changed entirely away from himself, and he gave God praise and glory; and
instructed his fellow citizens to honour, praise and show reverence to their God.

Creative pause: How well do you balance your request, laments and praises to God?

Having spent so much time reflecting on his personal issues, fears and anxieties—
and then responding in praise to God, the psalm changed focus again to a wider,
even “global” perspective. All who seek the Lord, even the “great assembly”, will
worship and revere the Lord God Almighty, who hears and answers prayers. The
“whole earth” will respond to God in ways they never have before, with all “families”
acknowledging in awe the greatness of God. God is above and beyond all concepts
of royalty, such is the graciousness of God’s actions; and even the rich are blessed!

Creative pause: How “global” are your prayers and concerns?

“....All the families of the nations will bow down before him....” The psalmist then
turned to issues affecting each individual person, as he acknowledged that in the
end – as it says in Genesis “...For you were made from dust,  and to dust you will
1; for such is the fragility of our life and living. We each need to recognise
the real and urgent need to bow before the Lord our Maker. That awesome privilege
of responding to God in worship and praise is a personal choice each individual
must make within their own lifetime. The wonderful and timeless reality of the good
news of the Lord God’s gracious commitment to humanity, and especially to God’s
faithful people, will be shared with every generation into the future; and whoever
has ears to hear, are challenged to respond in thankfulness to God. “...They will hear...”

Creative pause: “...Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord...”

1 Genesis 3: 19b (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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