A Call to Worship
Epiphany of our Lord Year A 2014
Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14

God, the Glorious Ruler of all things and all peoples, we come to worship you.
God, the Revealer of all truth, in clear-cut ways you make yourself known to us.

God, the Compassionate Father of all damaged children, we come to praise you.
God, the Revealer of all gentleness, in the simplest of ways - we learn about you.

God, the Guide and Helper of all lost and lonely people, we come to honour and
revere your holy name, for you are the Eternal One, whose throne stands forever
sure and true, with its foundations built on justice, mercy, forgiveness and tender love.
God, the Revealer of all compassion and mercy, you show yourself to us in ways
we can understand, and call us to live out that knowledge amongst hurting people. Amen.

Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14

1 Give justice to the king, O God,
and righteousness to the king's son.
2 Help him judge your people in the right way;
let the poor always be treated fairly.
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for all,
and may the hills be fruitful,
because the king does what is right.
4 Help him to defend the poor,
to rescue the children of the needy,
and to crush their oppressors.
5 May he live as long as the sun shines,
as long as the moon continues in the skies.
Yes, forever!
6 May his reign be as refreshing as the springtime rains –
like the showers that water the earth.
7 May all the godly flourish during his reign.
May there be abundant prosperity until the end of time.

10 The western kings of Tarshish and the islands
will bring him tribute. The eastern kings of Sheba
and Seba will bring him gifts.
11 All kings will bow before him,
and all nations will serve him.

12 He will rescue the poor when they cry to him;
he will help the oppressed,
who have no one to defend them.
13 He feels pity for the weak and the needy,
and he will rescue them.
14 He will save them from oppression and from violence,
for their lives are precious to him.

Prayers of Praise and Petition
Epiphany of our Lord Year A 2014
Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14

Holy God, be for us the Glorious Ruler of all things and all peoples, as we give
thanks and celebrate that our God embraces the royal blessings of care and
compassion for weak, vulnerable and oppressed peoples; together with all God’s
holy glory and majestic powers. We give thanks for the revelations God has made
to us and to all humanity about God’s-Own-Self, in ways that we can understand
and appreciate, which enlightens us about who we are as God’s people; and our
role towards humanity and the created world. We give thanks that the Godly role
of King and Saviour has been revealed to us as the dual role and the true pattern
for leaders, so that they are encouraged to combine their dedicated attention to
right leadership, together with justice and mercy for vulnerable people and children.

Steadfast God, be for us the Ruler and Sovereign of all peoples and all things. We
come to join together in praise of our Revealing God, and in response to the gift
of blessedness that those revelations impart. Offering praises to God is the most
natural response we can have because of those personal and shared revelations—
and so today, we joyfully sing together and offer our prayers of praise to our God.

Revealing God, be for us the Guide and Helper of all people, especially all those
people who are bewildered, lost or frightened. Today, we come together to revere
and honour your holy name, for you are the Eternal One, whose sacred grace is
the foundation of all that is God, and God’s glorious way of nurturing and giving.
At this time of Epiphany, we celebrate the revelations God has made known over
many centuries to leaders and to ordinary people alike. We give thanks that this
knowledge has enriched us, and helped us to experience the glorious majesty
and mercy of our God, who desires to be in mutual fellowship with all humanity.
“...Bless the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things.
Bless God’s glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen!”

A Personal Meditation
Epiphany of our Lord Year A 2014
Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14

The modern and most frequently use of the words “epiphany” or “revelation”
usually relates to the scandalous behaviour of some stage or screen “star”,
with the goal of titillating people to buy their magazine or watch them on TV
or film! That is not the purpose of this Psalm! Instead, it is a prayer encouraging
just, moral and godly behaviour for their newly crowned king! It was expected
that as Israel’s king, he would show glorious majesty and compassionate mercy
to all his citizens. “Sheba/Seba” were historically associated with Ethiopia, and
Tarshish” was later known as Carthage in Tunisia; but Psalm 72 states that:
“All kings will bow before him...” such was the majesty and power of Solomon.
In that era, indigenous and traditional African religious beliefs prospered in the
north of Africa. So, did King Solomon’s commitment to and dependence on
God - the Holy One – the Eternal God of all peoples – have any influence, or
create any sense of divine revelation to those special guests? Or was God
already at work within their indigenous religion revealing God’s-Self to them?

Creative pause: Do our traditional understandings of God, limit God’s revelations?

In my ten years of almost constant international travel, most of my destinations
were to nations with an historically strong Methodist or United Church context.
I believe that the awesome power and majesty of God’s presence is universal,
and God’s holy presence has never been limited or influenced by humanly devised
or politically drawn borders between nations. I have been very blest to experience
more stunning revelations of God’s holiness and power in non-Christian nations
and locations, than in many of the traditionally “holy” locations of Christendom! Or
is it perhaps, that we “expect” these revelations in the traditional “holy” places, and
then feel let down when they do not happen? Most of those special experiences
or moments of spiritual awareness have crept up on me and caught me by surprise!
Do we expect revelations/epiphanies’ to happen, instead of letting God surprise us?

Creative pause: Should we just let God surprise us with revelations or epiphanies?

The “Westminster Shorter Catechism” was created in 1640s by a group of English
and Scottish clergymen; and as a child, each week I was expected to memorise the
various Catechisms, along with a Biblical text to recite to my Sunday School teacher.
These memories of learned truths have stayed with me, especially the number one
in that Catechism. “What is humanity’s chief end or goal?” The answer: “To glorify God
and to enjoy God forever....”
2 Praising God is part of our shared “enjoyment” of God’s
revelations, and it is our duty and our delight in God’s presence; and of experiencing
the gifts of God’s grace, mercy and blessings as together we celebrate and praise God.

Creative pause: Praising God is part of our shared “enjoyment” of God’s revelations!

1 Psalm 72: 18 and 19
2 “Westminster Shorter Catechism” - Question #1

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).

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.


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