A Call to Worship
After Epiphany 5A [Ordinary 5A] 2017
Psalm 112: 1-9

We come together to celebrate the blessedness of being God’s children.
In faith, hope and trust we gather together to worship our Awesome God.

We come together to rejoice in the blessedness of listening to God’s word.
In response to God’s steadfast and faithful love for us: We praise our God.

We come together to sing and pray; and to support each other in the holy
blessedness of being committed to loving and worshipping our Creator God.
In confident anticipation, we gather to receive the holy blessedness of God’s
forgiveness of our confessed sin; and to go home giving thanks to the LORD! Amen.

Psalm 112: 1-9

1 Praise the LORD!
How joyful are those who fear the LORD
and delight in obeying his 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 last forever.

4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
5 Good comes to those who lend money generously
and conduct their business fairly.
6 Such people will not be overcome by evil.
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 share freely and give generously to those in need.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
They will have influence and honour.

Prayers of Thankfulness and Praise
After Epiphany 5A [Ordinary 5A] 2017
Psalm 112: 1-9

God, our Heavenly Father, we come together to celebrate the blessedness of
being your children; and the recipients of your generosity. Because of your tender
love towards all creation, and especially towards humanity, we give thanks for the
miracles of your gracious love; and for the way you encourage us to obediently
listen for your words of grace and wisdom to guide us on our pilgrim way. Through
your caring love and compassion, you bless your faithful children with your gift of
your Holy presence with us, to inspire us towards living life in all its fullness. And
so, today, in shared faith, hope and trust, we come to worship our Awesome God.

All-Loving God, we come together to rejoice in the blessedness of having the
freedom to worship our God in our own sacred space, amongst our community
of faith, and to have the privilege of listening to God’s word and seeing it lived
out amongst us. We come together to praise and to give thanks for God’s love
for us that is steadfast and true; and which is endlessly faithful in its expressions.
In response to that love and gracious mercy, we praise our God through our living;
our giving; our worship, our witness and our service, in the name of our Holy God.

We come together to sing and pray; and to support each other as we openly
confess our sin against our Holy God; and the sins we have committed against
each other. In confident anticipation, we receive the promised blessedness of
God’s forgiveness. We come too, to renew our commitment to God and to each
other, so that together, we may receive from God, the “...Light [that] shines in
the darkness for the godly...”
We give thanks for that holy light which guides and
blesses us in our daily pilgrimage; and may all the praise and glory be given to God. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
After Epiphany 5A [Ordinary 5A] 2017
Psalm 112: 1-9

The Psalms are the Hymn Book and the Prayer Book of the people of Israel,
having been collected over a long period of time and created by different people
in different circumstances. There are prayers and songs of praise of God; of
thankfulness for past blessings; petitions for help, liberation and revenge; and
revisited history lessons. Some of the hymns/prayers are deeply personal, whilst
others are for use in shared worship experiences. The psalmists encouraged
a God-centred lifestyle; an ethical approach to business and relationships; an
integrity in personal lifestyle; and an emphasis on justice and on living in such
a way that brought honour and praise to God within their covenantal relationship
with God. Despite their close association with God, the creators of the Psalms
were also very human, with all humanity’s limitations, weaknesses and issues—
which is probably why so many people so love the Psalms and their messages!

Creative pause: Which psalm speaks to you most clearly of God?

The Psalms also give us a deeper and richer understanding of God, through
the eyes, ears and personal lives of the psalmists. Psalm 112 opens with these
words: “Praise the LORD! How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight
in obeying his commands…”
and then adds: “...Light shines in the darkness for
the godly...”
as a further description of people who live in complete awe of God.
“Righteous” is a rather old fashioned word often used for people who are “godly”;
but the associated synonyms for those two descriptive words: “reverent”, “pious”,
“virtuous”, “religious”, “devout” and “saintly” are today often used negatively! Yet
the light of God still shines through the darkness onto the people thus derisively
described! “…They do not fear…they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.”

Creative pause: Would you describe yourself as being “godly”?

How do we discern the values of a person we meet for the first time? How do
we assess where their priorities lie; and whether they are an ethical person to
be trusted and believed? Do we listen to what they tell us or do be assess their
actions first? Professor Walter Brueggemann’s commentary in his book “Psalms”
enabled me to come to grips with this difficult psalm, which again praises the
committed life of people who live in “Torah obedience”. He writes: “...The reading
of Psalm 112 herein suggests that context is central for interpretation... The
context is the Hebrew wisdom tradition and an artful alphabetic acrostic from a
teacher who has learned about life and as a result in this poetic form commends
a lifestyle in line with YHWH’s created order. The lifestyle is based on integrity,
both in terms of justice and in terms of lives being wholly integrated. The lifestyle
finds hope not in self-confidence or in feverish effort but in faithful relationships
initiated and sustained by the creator. The psalm imparts divine guidance for
living. Such relationships and guidance can offer stability in the face of chaos...”

Creative pause: That “godly” person finds hope in their relationship with their Creator.

1 Text by Professor Walter Brueggemann
& William H Bellinger Junior from “Psalms”
Psalm 1121: 1-9, page 487
© 2014 Cambridge University Press

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 scholarship and 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:
© 2017 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year A. Used with permission.


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