A Call to Worship
Easter 7A 2014
Psalm 68: 1-10, 32-35

Holy God, called to worship you, we come, but we
come deeply grounded in the “real” world around us.
God of the “real” world, we come to worship you.

Hope-giving God, called to praise you, we come, but we
also bring the pain of people’s hopelessness to God.
Hope of the hopeless, we come to praise you.

Faithful God, called to honour you, we come, but we
also carry the grief of the world’s orphans, the widows
and the strangers in our midst, all of whom need your
justice, your mercy, your grace and your blessings.
Father of the fatherless, we come to honour you. Amen.

Psalm 68: 1-10, 32-35
For the choir director: A psalm of David. A song.

1 Arise, O God, and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives.
2 Drive them off like smoke blown by the wind.
Melt them like wax in fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God.
3 But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God's presence.
Let them be filled with joy.
4 Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him
who rides the clouds. His name is the LORD -- rejoice in his presence!

5 Father to the fatherless, defender of widows – this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
6 God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But for rebels, there is only famine and distress.
7 O God, when you led your people from Egypt, when you marched
through the wilderness,


8 the earth trembled, and the heavens poured rain before you,
the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel.
9 You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary Promised Land.
10 There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest,
O God, you provided for your needy people.

32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth.
Sing praises to the Lord.


33 Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens,
his mighty voice thundering from the sky.
34 Tell everyone about God's power.
His majesty shines down on Israel; his strength is mighty in the heavens.
35 God is awesome in his sanctuary.
The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Praise be to God!

Prayers of Confession
Easter 7A 2014
Psalm 68: 1-10, 32-35

Holy God, as we come to worship you, may we be aware of what we
are doing and saying, so that our worship, singing and prayers may
be honest and true before our Gracious God. We also come to worship
you, confessing that sometimes our worship of you is distracted by the
beauty of the liturgy; the glory of the music or flowers; the anticipation
of catching up with friends; or even just to have some quietness and
peace away from our busy life. We also confess that we like a disciplined
liturgy, a confident and articulate preacher and prayer leaders and readers;
and that we become restless when a less than “professional performance”
is offered to God in our worship. We confess that while we may be critical
of other people’s offerings of praise and song, we don’t always do our part.
Help us always to remember who it is we are worshipping and praising!

Hope-giving God, we also come to worship you, conscious of the world
in which we live, move and have our being. We gather to confess that your
glorious creation seems to be in a terrible mess, with so many of your
people suffering countless injustices; many of your people ignored because
they are “different”; and God’s creation defiled and desecrated every day,
not necessarily by “bad” people; but more often than not, by people who
are careless or opportunistic. We confess, Holy God, that often we complain
and grumble about life’s inequities, but we don’t attempt to change things
because it is too hard; we are too busy; or it is just not our responsibility!
Help us always to remember who it is we are ignoring and belittling – God’s
other children and our siblings – even as we sing your praises and worship you.

Faithful God, we come to worship you, seeking to become more faithful to
you; seeking to offer honest and true worship and praise to our Forgiving,
Renewing and Liberating God. Open our eyes, our ears, our minds and our
hearts to a fresh awareness of your awesome holiness; a new understanding
of your generous compassion; and your steadfast and enduring love for all
your creation. Today in worship, let us joyfully sing and share the news of
God’s power and majesty; whose holiness is awesome yet welcoming; whose
compassion towards the weak and oppressed is measureless; and who, even
in our foolishness, offers us forgiveness and restoration. “Praise be to God!” Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Easter 7A 2014
Psalm 68: 1-10, 32-35

I have been influenced in writing these prayers and meditation by the book:
“Israel’s Praise – Doxology against Idolatry and Ideology” written by the Rev
Dr Walter Brueggemann, and especially in the chapter “Doxology without
Reason: The loss of Israel’s world of hope”.
The learned professor teaches
us (in my understanding), that Israel ran the real risk of losing from its liturgies
and worship of God, the raw edge of their living with all its pain, problems and
joy; of bringing those challenges with them when they worshipped God; and
in their worship of God, seeking to find a way forward through those troubling
experiences. Where once, the liturgy arose out people’s personal experiences
of God, gradually their liturgies were sanitised and became the responsibility of
the “professionals”. As a result, their liturgies became more sophisticated, but
lost some of their “heart”, and in many instances the liturgies were “owned” by
royalty and the priests. Of course, not all worship or liturgies lacked personal
devotion and honest worship before their Holy God - but rather - the ordinary
people of God were distanced from their Divine Inspiration and Source of worship,
with the risk of their worship being a “performance”, rather than reverencing God.

Creative pause: Are your worship experiences a “performance” or reverence of God?

Brueggemann lists Psalm 68 as one of the style of Psalms mentioned above,
whilst other commentators describe this as one of the most difficult Psalms in
the whole collection. Again, other commentators see the beginning and end of
this Psalm as a celebration by the people of God’s power, when the enemies of
God were defeated and they rejoiced in their victory over evil; and the ancient
people’s escape from persecution. There is a call to sing and worship their God
who is all powerful, and who uses the clouds as a means to travel the universe;
and who speaks and acts throughout history and through nature and creation.

Creative pause: Does God continue to speak through history and creation?

However we read this difficult psalm, we should not give into the temptation of a
personal “triumphalism” because of God’s victory of evil, or a sense of having a
sense of superiority over people or creatures less fortunate than those who are
celebrating! If we take the message of the Psalm and apply it universally we could
quite legitimately sing, sing, and again sing our praises, “...Sing to God... God is
awesome .... God gives power and strength to God’s people. Praise be to God!”

Creative pause: “...Sing to God... God is awesome.... Praise be to God!”

Unless stated otherwise, all Bible readings and extracts used in these weekly Prayers and
Meditations are from the ‘New Living Translation’, © 1996. Copyright. All rights reserved.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189 USA.

*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 A. Used with permission.


Download/view a pdf file of this document here: easter7a_2014.pdf