A Call to Worship
Pentecost 10C [Ordinary 17C] or [Proper 12C] 2013
Psalm 85

Amazing God of the past, we give thanks for your great mercy and blessings.
We give thanks for God’s generous goodness freely given to our forebears.

Ever-faithful God of the present, we come seeking your blessing this day.
Renew us again, and empower us with your love to honour and praise you.

Hope-supplying God of the future, you have promised to bless and heal us.
Inspire us again to be your people, committed to worship and to serve you.
Holy God, blaze a trail of justice and peace across our land, so that with God’s
blessings resting on all faithful people, God’s peace-filled reign will flourish. Amen.

Prayers of Trust and Petition
Pentecost 10C [Ordinary 17C] or [Proper 12C] 2013
Psalm 85

Nurturing God, we gather together in your name to give you our sincere
thanks for the hope and trust in you that you have gifted to us and to our
forebears. Succeeding generations have called you their “Lord and God”,
and honoured and revered your holy name; and you have blessed their
faithfulness with love and mercy; and offered forgiveness for their sin.
Hear us this day we pray, Grace-giving God, as we seek your nurturing
presence to help us to remain true to you and to grow in our trust of you.
Renew us by the power of your love, so that we may more truly rejoice
in your loving mercy, and in the joy of your favour resting so freely on us.

Peace-giving God, show us again your unfailing love, and so help us to
overcome our doubts and fears, which in our foolishness, has dominated
our thinking and living. Help us to listen for God’s voice to guide and bless
us, especially when we are tempted by the world’s invitations and lies that
distract and sidetrack us from our path of obedience and faithfulness to
our Saving God. Help us also to learn from our past experiences of failing
to be true to our faith and trust in God; and lead us in your ways of peace.

Hope-inspiring God, with lightness of heart and peace-filled joy in our minds—
we gather to praise and honour our God of unfailing love! The truly genuine
virtues of truth and love, peace and right-living go hand-in-hand, as we step
out on your way into the future, with God as our travel-guide and tour director—
who has carefully charted our path to the fullness of life in God’s presence.
Through God’s glorious creation, we are reminded every day and night of the
all-embracing blessing of living in God’s world under God’s holy reign of peace. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 10C [Ordinary 17C] or [Proper 12C] 2013
Psalm 85

This Psalm is a communal song of deep lament, as Walter Brueggemann
refers to them in his chapter “Psalms of Disorientation”1 According to
Brueggemann, communal laments are much more difficult to articulate,
as they imply the deep grief and loss of a community, bleakly deprived
of a beloved “object” or “person”. “Disorientation” is defined as the loss
of one’s identity, surroundings, time or place; mental or spiritual confusion
which may be of short or long term duration. This Psalm was presumably
developed after the Israeli people were liberated from exile in Babylon,
and they were disoriented by so many things, and by so many changes.
These “Psalms of Disorientation” allow us to personalise our past losses;
but they also allow and encourage us to support and comfort each other.

Creative pause: The Psalms of “lament” offer a healing path through shared grief.

I love looking at and listening to Brueggemann’s lectures on “YouTube”,
where he speaks about the Psalms, but always he says, there is a “but” or
a “yet” from God in these communal laments; and despite all the heartache
and pain, with our gracious and forgiving God, there is always a “but” or a
“yet”! Psalm2 119: 83: But I cling to your principles and obey them”;
vs 109: “My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying
your law.”
; vs 141: “I am insignificant and despised, but I don't forget
your commandments”;
and vs 157: “Many persecute and trouble me,
yet I have not swerved from your decrees...”
In God’s mercy and grace,
God does act, and continues to act when called upon by lamenting people.
What a great message of hope and optimism for today in those two words!

Creative pause: With God, there is always a “But” or “...Yet I will...”

There is a line in one of Brian Wren’s hymns that I love to reflect about
as I continue to seek to discover its full meaning: “...Live tomorrow’s life
3 The author challenges us “.... May the Spirit fill our praise, guide
our thoughts and change our ways...
because: “God in Christ has come
to stay..... living working in our world... ... Live tomorrow’s life today..”
After seeking and receiving forgiveness and mercy, and being renewed
through God’s forgiving grace, to me, these words are the essence of
optimism and hope about a future lived in God’s goodness and mercy—
and in celebrating right now, what God will continue to do in our future—
provided we continue to live faithfully and truly in God’s loving embrace.

Creative pause: Living thankfully today for God’s continuing grace and mercy.

1 “The Message of the Psalms” Chapter 3
©1984 Augsburg Publishing House
2 Psalm 119 New Living Translation
3 From “Together in Song” # 414 “There’s a spirit in the air...”
Words by Brian Wren 1969 & 1995 Used with Permission,
Word of Life International License #2425

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.

*The additional weekly numbering is from the Revised COCU Indexing Scheme
COCU = ('Consultation on Church Union'); as it offers an easy sequential numbering
for the Revised Common Lectionary for the Church Calendar.

If any part of these Prayers and/or Meditations is used in shared worship, please provide
the following acknowledgement:
© 2013 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.


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