A Call to Worship
Epiphany of our Lord Year C 2016
Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14

We come in awed worship, because of God’s holy reign of love and mercy.
We come to celebrate the miracle of God’s awesome revelations to humanity.

We come in wonder, to worship the God who reveals God’s-Own-Self to us.
We come to celebrate the marvellous disclosures given to God’s faithful ones.

We come in reverence, to honour and worship the God who is always Lord of
lords, Monarch of all monarchs; President of all presidents, and Leader of all
leaders. Holy is the Lord our God “…sacredness enfolding us, here and now.1
We come to celebrate the experiences of God’s involvement with humanity over
endless time, and how God has enabled humanity to receive these revelations. Amen.

Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14

1 Give your love of 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.
4 Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy,
and to crush their oppressors.

5 May they fear you as long as the sun shines,
as long as the moon remains in the sky. Yes, forever!
6 May the king’s rule be refreshing like spring rain
on freshly cut grass, like the showers that water the earth.
7 May all the godly flourish during his reign.
May there be abundant prosperity until the moon is no more.

10 The western kings of Tarshish and other distant lands 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 redeem them from oppression and violence,
for their lives are precious to him.

Prayers of Trust and Petition
Epiphany of our Lord Year C 2016
Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14

Revealing God, we come in awed worship, because of God’s holy reign of love
and mercy as displayed over centuries to God’s people. We come to celebrate
the miracle of God’s awesome revelations to humanity as nations, groups, or as
individuals, to teach us how to live together in peace and with compassion for
each other. We come to celebrate the way we can trust in God’s leadership and
direction in what is the best way forward in any situation; and we pray that we
will always be guided by God’s Holy Word, and the revelations that are disclosed
to us. May we always be open to receiving from God, what God offers us in love.

God, you who are a Holy Mystery and a Sacred Presence, we come in wonder to
worship the God who reveals God’s-Own-Self to us in small and larger glimpses
of God’s holiness, so that we are blessed by that miracle of grace. We give thanks
that God trusts us with these revelations; and may we always respect and honour
them, so that we are always drawn ever closer to God’s Holy Presence - “Invisible
Mystery… sacredness enfolding us; here and now.”
1; and in those holy moments
of revelation, we rejoice and celebrate the marvels of God’s grace and blessings.

God of Unparalleled Majesty, we bow in reverent awe as we worship you here
in this sacred space that we call our true home. We give thanks for the faithful
people who have nurtured our faith and encouraged us in our earthly pilgrimage;
and taught us how to grow in faith and love. We pray for people who are new in
their faith in God; for people who are persecuted for their faith in God; and for
people who have no faith in God, and who feel as if there is no hope for them in
either life or death. We pray that the God who meets all peoples’ needs will come
very near to them to bless and guide them all. All praise be to God, the Holy One. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Epiphany of our Lord Year C 2016
Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14

I offer no disrespect to the thrust of Psalm 72, and its prayer for the king, but
in a time when there are very few remaining kingdoms around the world with
hereditary royalty as their leaders, I have therefore paraphrased the wording of
the selected psalm. I have also been non-gender specific, and instead refer
to prayers for a nation’s leader and those leaders’ successors. Therefore my
meditative prayer is: “....Give your justice to our leader, and righteousness to
the leaders successors, O God. May all leaders judge their people in the right
way, and let the poor always be treated fairly. May they know prosperity and
fruitful harvests. Help all leaders to defend the poor and to rescue the children
of the needy... May all leaders rescue the poor, and defend the oppressed;
may leaders feel pity for the weak and needy and rescue them, saving them
from oppression and violence – because their own people’s lives are precious...”

Creative pause: May all leaders judge all their people fairly and in the right way.

Without being too cynical, if one can believe some of the background briefings
that appear in the media, the people who are forcing the most horrific treatment
on people of faith in the One True God is because the perpetrators and their own
communities are themselves utterly impoverished; and want others to suffer as
“their people” are already suffering! Whatever are the motivations of any of our
world or national leaders, Psalm 72 offers a template for prayers on their behalf.

Creative pause: May leaders save their people from oppression and violence.

The psalmist prayed that his leader and all subsequent leaders treat their people
in “the right way” – but what do we mean by that? The United Nations determine
and promote many “Conventions” and “Declarations” that have been hammered out
over the years by nations and their Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) which
provide an active template for nations who are signatories to some or all of those
Conventions and Declarations. Articles 1 and 2 spell of the out the basic message of
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”: “Article 1. All human beings are born
free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience
and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Article 2. Everyone
is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction
of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion,
national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction
shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the
country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-
self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty....”
Paraphrased are the words
the psalmist also prayed: “O God, may all leaders be in awe of you for as long as the
sun shines upon us, as long as the moon remains up there in the sky.”
Amen and Amen!

Creative pause: May our leaders and their successors act justly and humanely.

1 “Invisible mystery” CD
© 2008 Words by Monica Brown
Emmaus Productions Australia
Used with personal permission

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:
© 2016 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.


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