A Call to Worship
After Pentecost 10C [Ordinary 17C] or [Proper 12C] 2016
Psalm 85

Holy God, we gather to celebrate our generous, reviving and gracious God.
We come to give our thanks for the good news that God really cares for us all.

Forgiving God, we gather today to joyfully receive and know your merciful love.
We come to give our thanks that the God we worship forgives and forgets our sin.

Steadfast God, we gather to remember and give thanks for God’s unfailing love
and blessings that are so tenderly poured over contrite and confessing people.
We come to give our thanks that the God we worship through songs, prayers
and fellowship, shows us unfailing love - which speaks peace to God’s people. Amen.

Psalm 85
For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

1 Lord, you poured out blessings on your land!
You restored the fortunes of Israel.
2 You forgave the guilt of your people—
yes, you covered all their sins. Interlude

3 You held back your fury. You kept back your blazing anger.
4 Now restore us again, O God of our salvation.
Put aside your anger against us once more.
5 Will you be angry with us always?
Will you prolong your wrath to all generations?

6 Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?
7 Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

8 I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying,
for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
But let them not return to their foolish ways.
9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
so our land will be filled with his glory.

10 Unfailing love and truth have met together.
Righteousness and peace have kissed!
11 Truth springs up from the earth,
and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
12 Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings.
Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.
13 Righteousness goes as a herald before him,
preparing the way for his steps.

Prayers of Thankfulness
After Pentecost 10C [Ordinary 17C] or [Proper 12C] 2016
Psalm 85

Transforming God, today we gather to celebrate our God’s reviving, renewing and
holy love that is so generously and graciously given to all humanity; and to give our
thanks that in these times of uncertainty about people who are genuinely caring, and
those people who are manipulative in their supposed caring; that we do worship the
God of unquestionable love and mercy. We give thanks for the confidence that this
gives to us, that we can trust in God’s fidelity and utter trustworthiness, as we seek
to serve, honour and help bring healing and hope to disillusioned and hurting humanity.

Nurturing and Forgiving God, we live in times of uncertainty due to the varied political
and relational ambiguities that flourish unchecked, when promises are made so glibly—
but which often prove to be no more than empty catch-phrases that deliver nothing but
disappointment. Dependable God, in trusting faith, we gather to thank and praise you
for your many promises of love and forgiveness; and for the way you forgive and forget
the sinfulness of humanity when they in contrition and confession, come before God’s
throne of grace seeking mercy. We give thanks, that in the words of the psalmist that:
“...Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!
... righteousness smiles down from heaven...” and “...Yes, the LORD pours down his
blessings... preparing the way for his steps.” May all this be our own experience and joy!

Accepting God, we come today to give our thanks that we worship our God through glad
songs, prayers and warming fellowship which we hope always demonstrates God’s love
that never fails; and which speaks peace to all God’s faithful people. We give thanks that
we don’t have to pretend with our Generous God, because God knows our heart and mind
better than we do ourselves. We pray that we may always be faithful in our worship, witness
and service to the God we serve; and to humanity whom God loves with great tenderness. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
After Pentecost 10C [Ordinary 17C] or [Proper 12C] 2016
Psalm 85

Most Bibles divide their indexes into three sections: the books of the Law; the
Wisdom Literature; and the books of the Prophets. The Wisdom Literature includes
the books of Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs.
In the Wisdom Literature, the individual rather than the nation is addressed in
order to build up their society as is reflected by God’s will for humanity, and works
from the individual up; whereas the Law and the Prophet books tended to work
from the nation down to the individual, and in the Wisdom Literature God was often
shown as God the Creator, rather than God the Liberator. The Psalms highlight
God in the way I like to describe as either the ‘Creator God’ or the ‘Hesed God’—
that is, God's love and loyalty that is faithful, unfailing, steadfast and very merciful.
God’s ‘hesed’ love is expressed through God’s Covenant with the people of Israel
through God’s faithfulness, trust and commitment to that everlasting relationship.

Creative pause: What imagery/description of God speaks most clearly to you?

In today’s psalm we have both those Godly elements. Psalm 29 is a wonderful
example of God the Creator whose voice and powers were displayed: “...The voice
of the LORD echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The LORD thunders
over the mighty sea. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is
majestic. The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars; the LORD shatters the
cedars of Lebanon...”
1 Today’s psalm also speaks of the ‘Hesed God’: “...Show
us your unfailing love, O LORD... listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying,
for he speaks peace to his faithful people.. Yes, the LORD pours down his blessings...”

Creative pause: God speaks ‘peace’ to God’s faithful people.

Whilst the ‘voice’ of God’s almighty power, majesty, splendour, strength and glory
and of utter holiness may speak loudly to many people; it is to the bewildered and
yearning people who long to hear and rejoice in the God’s ‘hesed’ voice of loving
and unfailing care and compassion; God’s merciful acceptance; but especially they
long for God’s voice of peace! I found it interesting that it was only in the “Orthodox
Jewish Bible” translation that reads: “...for He will speak shalom unto His people…”,
with ‘shalom’ meaning peace, harmony, completeness, prosperity, welfare and
tranquility; and the reality of hope and wholeness for individuals and communities.

Creative pause: God speaks ‘shalom’ to God’s faithful people.

1 Psalm 29: 3-5 (NLT)

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: pentecost10[17]c_2016.pdf