God: who offers spiritual liberation to all who search for it, we worship you.
A Call to Worship
Lent 1B 2018
Psalm 25: 1-10
We come to the Holy One with our sin and regrets, asking for forgiveness.
God: who offers peace of heart and mind to all who seek it, we thank you.
We come to the Welcoming One, as we yearn for acceptance and renewal.
God: whose promises are always trustworthy, just and fair; we come to share
in the blessings of your unshakable love; your constant faithfulness and mercy.
We come to the Transforming One, who, as we make our confessions - lovingly
and graciously forgives and restores us emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
“My heart is fixed upon you, God; my heart is steadfast in your love…at peace”1 Amen.
Psalm 25: 1-10
A psalm of David.
1 O LORD, I give my life to you.
2 I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.
4 Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.
5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.
6 Remember, O LORD, your compassion and unfailing love,
which you have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O LORD.
8 The LORD is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way.
10 The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
Prayers of Confession
Welcoming God: in your great mercy and compassion, you offer spiritual joy
Lent 1B 2018
Psalm 25: 1-10
and liberation to all who search for it; and so we come to the Holy One with
our sin and our regrets; with our unfaithfulness and our selfishness; and we
humbly ask for your forgiveness. We are ashamed of our actions, our words,
and our thoughts – because they are quite lacking in concept of being a good
neighbour; or even a good friend! We are embarrassed by these failings, and
disappointed in ourselves – as we genuinely thought we were better than that.
We give thanks for the blessedness of forgiveness and the promise that: “…The
LORD…shows the proper path to those who go astray…. Lead me by your truth…”
Hope-giving God: in your great mercy and compassion, you offer each of us
peace of heart, because we yearn for your acceptance, for your forgiveness
and for the renewal of our understanding of what it means to be God’s beloved;
and the impact that has on our daily life and relationships. We give thanks for
the holy joy of forgiveness and the encouragement of God’s renewing grace.
“…O LORD…Lead me by your truth and teach me… I put my hope in you…”
Transforming God: in your great mercy and compassion, you offer us all the
blessedness of your unshakable love; your constant faithfulness and mercy.
Your promises are always reliable, trustworthy, just and fair. Today, we come
to make our confessions to you - and to each other either prayerfully or with
open honesty – and in faith, hope and trust - we anticipate the relief of being
lovingly and graciously accepted and forgiven. With God’s gifted newness of
life, hope and love, we are sent out into the world again, to face all the trials
and troubles we experience as human beings; and praying again that we will
become more constant in our living and loving. We rejoice in the knowledge
that “…The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who…obey him...” Amen.
A Personal Meditation
The Psalmist, whether it was David himself; someone writing in the same style as David;
Lent 1B 2018
Psalm 25: 1-10
or someone honouring David with these thoughts and commitments, Psalm 25 starts
in an unambiguous way! “O LORD, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God…!” This
is followed by a petition: “…Do not let me be disgraced, or let my enemies rejoice in
my defeat. No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced...” I did my usual check on
various translations on the word “disgraced”; but most other translations used the words
“shamed” or “ashamed”; but other words used were “disappoint” and “embarrass”.
Monica Brown expresses this trusting relationship thusly: “My heart is fixed upon you,
God; my heart is steadfast in your love. My heart at peace within your gaze, my heart
at home in your embrace.”1 A confident statement of faith and trust in God’s love!
|Creative pause:||“…Lead me by your truth and teach me…for you are merciful…”|
Once again we learn of “hesed” and what it meant to the people of Israel - especially
someone as committed to God as was David - as he and they, both experienced God’s
steadfast and unfailing love, faithfulness, loyalty, mercy and grace. Professor Walter
Brueggemann writes about prayers of petition to God: “…Israel speaks in prayer to this
You, a very peculiar, distinctive You… This You is present and powerful not only in the
safe, habituated middle ground of our existence where things are routine. This God is
also present and powerful always at the edge, at the extremes, at the crisis points where
life is genuinely at risk…”2 David’s trust in God’s “hesed” was confirmed in verse 10
“…The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and
obey his demands…” Throughout the Old and New Testaments, there is an emphasis
on what seems to be the almost ‘involuntary’ capacity to love that God has for 'widows,
orphans and aliens’ – as if God’s-Own-Self could not be God unless loving needy people!
|Creative pause:||“…Remember me in the light of your unfailing love…O LORD…”|
The psalmist expresses that love of God in practical terms thus: “…The LORD is good and
does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble
in doing right, teaching them his way….” It is our privilege, blessing and joy to respond—
using Monica’s words: “My heart is fixed upon you, God; my heart is steadfast in your love.
My heart at peace within your gaze, my heart at home in your embrace.”1 We can safely
and confidently leave our anxieties, fears and need for guidance within God’s loving hands!
|Creative pause:||“…you are the God who saves me…I put my hope in you…”|
1 From “A Hearts Journey” CD Track 2
Words and music by Monica Brown
© 2010 Monica Brown & Emmaus Productions
Used with personal permission
2 Text by Professor Walter Brueggemann
“The Psalms and the Life of Faith”
Chapter 2, pages 43/4
©1995 Augsburg Publishing House
Minneapolis MN 55440, USA
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 help and inspiration so frequently available from the writings of Professor Walter Brueggemann and Professorial brothers Rolf and Karl Jacobson; and the resources from "The Text this Week" (Textweek).
If the Prayers and/or Meditation are used in shared worship, please provide this acknowledgement:
© 2018 Joan Stott –‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Based on verses from Psalm 25.
Used with permission.
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