A Call to Worship
Pentecost 11C [Ordinary 18C] or [Proper 13C] 2013
Psalm 107: 1-9, 43

We come together, to be still in the Holy Presence of the Lord our God.
With one mind and heart, we come with our prayers of thanks to our God.

We come together, to share our hope and trust in God’s Holy Presence.
With confidence and conviction, we come to declare that our God is good!

We come together, to respond to the Holy God’s goodness and mercy.
With our diverse experiences, we come to share in God’s blessings and
to celebrate God’s healing grace, offered to each of us in our varying needs. Amen.

Prayers of Trust and Thankfulness
Pentecost 11C [Ordinary 18C] or [Proper 13C] 2013
Psalm 107: 1-9, 43

Holy and Gracious God, we come to share in our worship of you, bringing
with us our many and varied experiences of life; its joys, its challenges;
its pain and sorrows; and the hope and trust we have in our Guiding God
to sustain us, regardless of our circumstances. We come, bearing the scars
of our life experiences – with some scars we can show and share with pride
and joy; whilst some of our scars we hide with shame and remorse, because
they tell a story of our lack of trust in God, or our wilfulness in insisting that
we go our own way in life. We give thanks that our Trustworthy God invites
and welcomes us to shared worship and praise, so that in addition, we can
encourage each other in our faith journey, especially when things are tough.

Each of us at some time in our life have felt trapped, cornered, ambushed or
tricked into situations from which we can see no way out to freedom from our
trauma or circumstances. We are reminded by this Psalm of the many ways
people can become victims of their own actions, or through the actions of other
people, and for whatever reason we are victimised, we yearn for our freedom.
The Psalmist demanded of his people: “All of you set free by God, tell the world!
Tell how God freed you....”
1 and then later he added: "If you are really wise,
you’ll think this over—it’s time you appreciated God’s deep love....”
2 God’s
faithful love does endure forever, and in trust and confidence, we come in
worship and thanksgiving, to share with others our experiences of God’s love.

Ever-faithful God, we come to honour the blessings that our Generous God
has showered upon us. Those people who have sought to follow God’s ways
all their lives, and those people for whom following God is a new experience—
each have the same story to tell about God’s faithful and trustworthy love that
endures forever; and that God gives to people a sense of security and peace
from all that has previously oppressed them. Give thanks to the Lord, always. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 11C [Ordinary 18C] or [Proper 13C] 2013
Psalm 107: 1-9, 43

I discovered that freedom is often an ambiguous experience when, at a
very stressful time in our family’s life, I and my two young daughters were
given a very immature kangaroo to raise by a wild-life officer. The “joey’s”
mother had been shot, and “Snoopy” should have still have lived in her
mother’s pouch for several more months. Her replacement pouch was a
hessian bag in my sunroom, where it was warm. As Snoopy grew and
matured, we learned more about the meaning of freedom, and how it can
also mean living and surviving within a restricted yet secure environment.
Snoopy lived happily in our large backyard for over a year, until she needed
the freedom to truly be a kangaroo. That meant letting Snoopy go to live
in a wild-life sanctuary among her own species; and although we visited her
regularly, it was not very long before she was more interested in the other
kangaroos than she was in us - so we reluctantly set her free to be herself.

Creative pause: Are we “...set free by God...”1 to be more truly ourselves?

I live amongst young people and young families, who like to share their
worries and joys, and ask my advice, because I am “wise” - and then I can
almost feel myself swell with pride at such praise! Yet the ancient Greek
philosopher Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) taught: “The only true wisdom
is in knowing you know nothing....”
Apparently, true wisdom is being aware
that uncertainty and hesitation means we are still open to new concepts,
new ideas, and to seeing things with receptiveness, rather than hostility
and fear. As various writers have maintained, wisdom comes from living
openly and lovingly; knowing our own humanity; and finally deciding what
is important in all that clutters our heart, mind, body, spirits, relationships
and commitments, and then determining where love fits in with any of them.

Creative pause: Where is love amongst all that clutters our life?

The Psalmist concludes his catalogue of the disasters that had befallen
God’s own people through their wilfulness; and their remorse after being
scattered into exile, and then in God’s time, God’s saving mercy and grace
was offered to them: “.....For he [God] has gathered the exiles from many
lands, from east and west, from north and south....”
After overcoming each
different disaster with God’s blessing and guidance, those exiled people
sang a joy-filled refrain: “....Let them praise the Lord for his great love and
for all his wonderful deeds to them.....”
Those people knew their experiences
of God’s saving grace was not a secret to be kept hidden, but something to
celebrate together as freed people, through God’s mercy and goodness.

Creative pause: Do you think “set free by God” means the same as being “redeemed”?

1 Psalm 107: 2
2 Psalm 107: 43
Text from “The Message”
As published by NavPress in English: The Bible in Contemporary Language
© 2002 by Eugene Peterson. USA Copyright. All rights reserved.

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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