Reviving God, we come with thirsty hearts, minds and souls to worship you.
A Call to Worship
Lent 3C 2016
Psalm 63: 1-8
We come to worship our God, and to be refreshed with God’s unfailing love.
Renewing God, we come with hungry hearts, minds and souls to praise you.
We come to praise God, and to be renewed within the security of God’s hands.
Responsive God, we come to you and to your unfailing love for us to be revived,
renewed and received, because you are our Holy God, who always satisfies us.
We come to worship our God with fervent prayers and joyful songs of praise;
always giving thanks that Helper God accepts us and responds to all our prayers. Amen.
Psalm 63: 1-8
A psalm of David, regarding a time when David was in the wilderness of Judah.
1 O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!
4 I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.
6 I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.
7 Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.
Prayers of Trust and Petition
Trustworthy God, we come as vulnerable human beings to offer our worship
Lent 3C 2016
Psalm 63: 1-8
to you, and yet we are also very aware of the poverty of our commitment to the
worship of the God of unfailing love. We come to you to acknowledge that our
hearts, minds and souls are thirsty for your stimulating presence which revives,
refreshes and enlivens our spiritual health. As members of a faith community
and as individuals, we ask that our shared relationship with God will take on a
new depth and an increased intimacy. Empowering God, come to us in our
yearning need, we pray, and we ask that you give to us again a fresh glimpse
of your power and glory, so that we may worship you in truth and in sincerity.
Renewing God, we come to worship you with hungry hearts, minds and souls
even as we say: “O God, you are my God…”; and in anticipation and expectation—
we celebrate the presence of God amongst us that enables us to catch a glimpse
of God’s power and glory, as we gather in our sacred space. Within the security
of an intimacy with our God of unfailing love, we offer our worship and joyous
praises because we are each one of us held securely in God’s strong hands.
God of every time and place, we rest securely at night within the loving embrace
of the God who is our Helper; and we live a trusting and hope-filled life each day
because you are always with us, around and beneath us; above and beyond us;
and surrounding us always with your glorious presence. When we lose our way in
life, we search for you, only to discover you are always with us; and so we cling to
the security of your love and compassionate care of us. We also praise you and
give thanks that you are able to satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts, minds
and souls if we but trust ourselves into your tender care and live in God’s peace. Amen.
A Personal Meditation
“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you;
Lent 3C 2016
Psalm 63: 1-8
my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is
no water…” The psalmist shares with his listeners his longing for God – which
is an emotional and yearning need for God’s presence, that many people often
struggle to confess even to themselves, much less in an “open letter” such as
this psalm. The acknowledgement of a personal spiritual emptiness, that can
only be filled by God, requires an honesty from which we often shy away. The
psalmist then described that spiritual emptiness as living through severe drought
times in a “weary land” - a very apt description of drought-stricken countryside!
|Creative pause:||Have you experienced a spiritual “weary land”?|
The psalmist then shared the news that he had “…seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory…”, which seems to me to imply that his
deep yearning for God had only increased because of that glimpse of God’s holy
glory! Monica Brown, the Australian nun who was nurtured in the Benedictine
tradition with the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, understands this sense of God’s
renewing presence as she wrote in this mantra: “Waters of life, come wash over
me, let my soul drink from your wellsprings, O God. Waters of life, come wash
over me, quench deep within, the thirst of my soul.”1 As if this imagery was still
inadequate for the psalmist, he then sang: “…You satisfy me more than the richest
feast…” God’s blessing to him of that renewal satisfied his deepest spiritual needs.
|Creative pause:||Waters of life …quench deep within, the thirst of my soul.”1|
This psalm creates many images that resonate with me and no doubt, many other
people! “…I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because
you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong
right hand holds me securely...” This is the intimate language of a lover sharing their
deepest longings for the absolute closeness of body, mind and spirit with their beloved;
and that is the only possible analogy that expresses such longing and such tender love.
The concept of snuggling under God’s wing and clinging to God suggests a convincing
acceptance by God of a person’s personal and private devotion for God; and also a
craving to be eternally close to God - as close as one is able to dare to reach for God!
|Creative pause:||Does the shared intimacy between lovers describe your feelings for God?|
1 Quiet my soul” CD - track 6
“Waters of life, come wash me”
Monica Brown & Emmaus Productions
© 2003 Monica Brown
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 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:
© 2016 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.
Download/view a pdf file of this document here: lent3c_2016.pdf