A Call to Worship
Epiphany 5A [Ordinary 5A] 2014
Psalm 112: 1-9

Come, people of every race, tradition and culture, you
are called to be in a right relationship with your God.
We know true contentment in praising the Lord our God.

Come, people of every age and time, you are called
to be in obedient service to and for your Lord and God.
We know true contentment in serving the Lord our God.

Come, people of every gender and relationship, you
are called to be at peace with each other, and with God;
and to share God’s grace and mercy with everyone.
Praise the Lord! We know true contentment when we
minister to others, as we worship and serve the Lord. Amen.

Psalm 112: 1-9

1 Praise the LORD!
Happy are those who fear the LORD.
Yes, happy are those who delight in doing what he commands.

2 Their children will be successful everywhere;
an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
3 They themselves will be wealthy,
and their good deeds will never be forgotten.

4 When darkness overtakes the godly,
light will come bursting in.
They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

5 All goes well for those who are generous,
who lend freely and conduct their business fairly.
6 Such people will not be overcome by evil circumstances.
Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
7 They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.

8 They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.
9 They give generously to those in need.
Their good deeds will never be forgotten.
They will have influence and honour.

Prayers of Praise and Thankfulness
Epiphany 5A [Ordinary 5A] 2014
Psalm 112: 1-9

“Praise the Lord! Happy are those in awe of the Lord, who delight
in doing what he commands... who confidently trust the Lord...”

Holy God, we gather to praise and glorify your name and offer
our reverent worship to the God of all peoples and all creation.
We gather to offer our reverent and awe-inspired thankfulness—
because the God we worship is a glorious and holy God. Today,
we give thanks for the blessings of life itself, and the wonder-filled
joy of being alive in God’s world. We acknowledge that there are
many people who cannot celebrate life and living as we are doing;
as that they experience difficult and harsh circumstances in life.
Yet, O God, we should, and we must give our thanks to you for the
many blessings we know and experience every day, which allows
us the privilege of seeking to be in a right relationship with our God,
and with our neighbours. We praise you and give thanks to you for
this revelation into the holy and just righteousness of our great God.

Faithful God, It is because of this special revelation given to us, that
we are reminded of God’s greatest gift to us: “…So God created
people in his own image; God patterned them after himself ...”.
1 We
know and believe that we dare not liken ourselves to God – but, that
just as God is faithful and justice-loving, we are called to be the same.
We praise and thank God for this great privilege and responsibility!

Inspiring God, we celebrate and give thanks for the way we can rely
on God, and for God’s continuing guidance and blessing, as each
day we seek to offer our worship, witness and service to God, and to
the people of this world whom God created, loves and yearns over.
How blessed we are to receive these revelations about our glorious
and holy God, as we live each day under God’s loving care and mercy.
Help us to remember that we live in God’s own world, and that we are
God’s own people - called to be God’s instruments for mercy and justice. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Epiphany 5A [Ordinary 5A] 2014
Psalm 112: 1-9

At the first and even the second reading of this Psalm 112, one is tempted
to say to the Psalmist: “Get real - life and living in our world today is not at
like that!!”
Or something else like: “My faith community is not like that. After
the way I have been treated, I could never ever describe them all as being
“generous” or “gracious”; “compassionate” or “caring”; and there certainly has
not been any justice for me!!”
Yet the revelations from the Psalmist were not
about an ideal congregation or faith community!, He was envisioning in theory,
the potential of every member of every faith community. Each and every one
in faith communities and congregations were and are created by God “…in
his own image; God patterned them after himself ...
1 The theory of it is fine, but
what about the practical outcomes? Does each person really have the potential
for being in a right relationship not only with God, and also with their neighbour?

Creative pause: Theory and practice are so often very different!

If each God-committed person’s practice matched the theory of today’s text,
then we might be “…Happy/Blessed are those who fear the Lord. Yes, happy/
blessed are those who delight in doing what he commands...”
One of the
commentators I use suggests that “content” and “contented” are much better
and truer descriptions of the people who practice the theory of this Psalm in
their daily life and living. The people with no commitment at all to God seem to
have a perpetual quest for happiness and security that is never really fulfilled!

Creative pause: Is experiencing “contentment” the same as being “happy” or “blessed”?

Professor Walter Brueggemann in his 1984 book “The Message of the Psalms”
teaches that whilst we humans can never attain the qualities or holiness of God,
there is the possibility of us determining that we will be faithful, just as God, the
Holy One, is always faithful. The qualities of the happy/blessed/contented person
as described in the Psalm, are not derived from an emotional “wish list”; but rather,
they could be the goal that all faithful followers of God’s way could aim to achieve
in their life time. Faithfulness and obedience to God’s will and ways are the best
recipes for contentment; but that is only attained through committed and quiet
partnerships of people working, witnessing and worshipping God each day, and
living in a community that is in harmony with individual people, creation and God.

Creative pause: What is your recipe for personal contentment?

1 Genesis 1: 27(NLT)

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: epiphany5[5]a_2014.pdf