A Call to Worship
Easter 7B 2015
Psalm 1

We come together to celebrate the joy-filled blessedness of living within God’s rule.
We come, blessed by the fruits of God’s Spirit that as we worship bring joy and peace.

We come together to delight in the rule and laws of God as they influence our living.
We come, blessed by the fruits of God’s Spirit that gives us patience and self-control.

We come together to worship and praise the God who blesses, renews and refreshes
us so that we are like fruit-bearing trees that are watered by God’s gracious guidance.
We come, blessed by the fruits of God’s Spirit that enables us to worship God faithfully;
and to accept others in loving gentleness and kindly goodness - to God’s greater glory. Amen.

Psalm 1

1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

4 But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.

6 For the LORD watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Prayers of Trust and Petition
Easter 7B 2015
Psalm 1

Watching God, we come together to celebrate the joy-filled blessedness of living our
daily and nightly pilgrimage within God’s rules, laws and precepts, so that as we try
to follow them, we are blessed to receive in the gifts of God’s Spirit that enriches our
lives with true joy and peace, especially as gather in worship of God. We sing with all
the saints past, present and future about the joys of our God’s presence with us to
bless and guide us: “Joyfully shout all you on earth, give praise to the glory of God;
and with a hymn sing out his glorious praise; alleluia! All you nations sing out your joy
to the Lord: Alleluia, alleluia!”
1 We pray for people who find little to be joyful about in
life because of their circumstances; or because they have chosen a path in life that only
leads to destruction and sorrow. We pray for people who do not know what peace even
means or even understood by them. Grant these impoverished people your joy and your
peace that is not dependent on themselves or their circumstances, or how well they are.
May they through these gift, discover just how trustworthy is our Holy God and Liberator.

Resourcing God, we give thanks that we can trust in God’s promises and in the records
of the people of God, even through their inconsistent responses to God’s grace and mercy.
Help us to always find delight in being obedient to the teachings of the faith as expressed
by God in Jesus, and in the mission and ministry we are called live out each day and night
through those Biblical teachings. We pray for people who search for real meaning and
purpose in their life, and yet who have never been exposed to the truth of God’s loving and
gracious mercy. We pray for people who are resolute in their stance about what is right,
fair and just, even if they have had little spiritual training or guidance from others. Companion
God, speak directly to the hearts and minds of the people who yearn for something more
and different in their lives, without really knowing what it is they are seeking for or why.

We come together to worship and praise the God who blesses, renews and refreshes
us, so that we are like fruit-bearing trees that are watered by God’s guidance and grace
that nurtures and empowers us to be fruitful with the gifts of faithfulness, kindly goodness
and loving gentleness. We give thanks to our Creator that these gifts also enable us to
be accepting of people whose gifts are different to ours, so that together we can praise
God’s holy name and rejoice in the wonders of discovering more about our God. We pray
for people so obsessed with the leadership powers that has been granted to them, that
they deny others any avenue of service. We pray for people whose gifts are diminished
because they are not given the freedom to use them in productive ways; and we ask that
they be enabled to develop skills in ways that enhance them as people, but which also
glorify God; and which reminds them that “...the LORD watches over the path of the godly.” Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Easter 7B 2015
Psalm 1

The very appealing imagery from Psalm 1 of trees with their roots deep in
the nourishing richness of moist soil that enables vigorous growth, fruit and
abundant foliage is very encouraging, as there are clear concepts of growth
and fertility which means successful nurturing of the trees. However, the
importance of fruit from those trees are often not emphasised; yet it is the seeds
from that fruit that provides the future generations of trees. Psalm 1 teaches
us of the joys of living within the precepts and laws that God has proclaimed,
that enables richness and beauty of life and living; that enables us to be
fruit-bearers to the world hungry for guidance on what is “successful living”.
“Oh, the joys of those who …. delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it
day and night….”;
yet who amongst us promotes daily meditating on the
Bible as the most desirable method of achieving personal success in life?

Creative pause: Do you delight in meditating on God day and night?

Just as Psalm 1 illustrates “life” as a struggle between the “godly” and the
“wicked”; so in Galatians 5, the “sinful natures” of people are at war with what
“...the Spirit gives us….”2 As we are obedient to God, the countering gifts in
these struggles are God’s Spirit and presence of God that gifts us with fruit
borne within our lives of: “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control..”
3 Faithful worship of God is the
primary objective and agenda for God’s people that is based on obedience
and commitment to God’s laws and ways; and whoever - a community of faith
or individuals – that responds to God’s calling to them will receive these gifts,
despite living with dangers, risks, and restrictions placed on them; and they
will bear their own specific fruit in their own right time and circumstances.

Creative pause: Faithful worship of God is the primary agenda for God’s people.

Recently, I was looking for a hymn to include in worship that actually listed the
“fruits of the Spirit” as described in Galatians 5: 22-23,3 but eventually I gave
up and wrote my own hymn words to suit a special worship occasion where I
wanted to emphasise the choices we need to make every moment of every day!
“Our gracious God has given / good gifts for us to share, / The Holy Spirit blesses
those seeking gifts through prayer. / We can respond accepting those gracious gifts
of love, / but we are called to share them / as blessings from above. // God’s gifts of
love and patience, / are scorned by worldly view, / but they are holy blessings / we
prayerfully renew; / God calls us to be faithful / to God’s own holy Word; / God’s
peace and daily Presence / stays with us, we’re assured. // True gentleness and
goodness / with self control are sought, / but the world lacks these blessings, / and
values them as naught. / Pure kindness is a virtue / to people in despair; / God’s joy,
a benediction / to people everywhere.” //
4 Thanks be to God for these gracious gifts!

Creative pause: Thanks be to God for meeting all our personal needs.

1 From “Together in Song” #36
“Joyfully shout all you on earth”
Paraphrase by Lucien Deiss 1921-
Used with Permission,
Word of Life International Licence #2425

2 Galatians 5: 17b

3 Galatians 5: 22-23

4 “Our gracious God has given”
© 2015 Words by Joan Stott,
Please use with acknowledgement.

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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