A Call to Worship
Pentecost 12C [Ordinary 19C] or [Proper 14C] 2013
Psalm 50: 1-8, 22-23

We gather to worship God, in the holiness of God’s own radiant presence.
God calls us to listen! God tells us to name Whom it is we thank and worship.

We gather to worship God, in the sacred majesty of God’s glorious presence.
God calls us to listen! God tells us to acknowledge Whom it is we revere.

We gather to worship God, to rediscover the awe and mystery of God’s holiness.
Thanks be to our Beckoning God, who welcomes to us with majestic splendour.
God calls us to listen! God tells us that God’s holiness and majesty are only signs
and symbols of God’s saving grace; and that by living in obedient trust before God—
our lives will be transformed into a gracious and generous relationship with God. Amen.
Thanks be to God, because “...giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honours me...." Amen.

Prayers of Confession and Penitence
Pentecost 12C [Ordinary 19C] or [Proper 14C] 2013
Psalm 50: 1-8, 22-23

Holy God, just as your people from ancient times were challenged by the
Lord God to rethink their attitudes, actions and words when they came
to worship God, so it is today that we, too, are each being challenged
to really struggle with the true significance of our personal and shared
worship of God. We humbly acknowledge how easy and simple it is
during shared services of worship to repeat familiar words of songs and
prayers; how we can almost mechanically respond to the “Declaration
of Forgiveness” with our response: “Thanks be to God”; and how, when
we hear or read God’s word, we say: “This is the word of the Lord, thanks
be to God.”
without even thinking about it. Forgive us, we pray, O God.
God said to his people of old, and to us today: “...Repent, all of you who
ignore me...... but giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honours me....

Everlasting God, you call us to come to you saying: "...Bring my faithful
people to me – those who made a covenant with me...."
Generous God,
at various times in our lives we have made promises to you - and especially
when our relationships and circumstances in life are difficult or threatening—
and when the crises are over, we often fail to keep the vows we have
made to God! Faithful God, you have always kept the covenant promises
made to generations of your people, and your word and promises are sacred
truths. Generous God, forgive us our failures to keep our fervent promises.
God said to his people and to us today: “...Repent, all of you who ignore
me....let the heavens proclaim his justice, for God himself will be the judge.”

Almighty and Eternal God, again you challenged your ancient people, and
us, to reconsider our lives and our living as we come to worship our God.
We often recite the creeds and faith statements of the Church without much
thought to what they are saying to us and asking of us; or we choose not to
say them because we know we will fail to live up to the challenges they present
us with in our daily living. We are also familiar with God’s Ten Commandments
for how we are to worship and serve God, and to live in community with good
and healthy relationships; yet we forget these words and their implications as
soon as we have finished reading them. Forgive us our daily hypocrisy, O God.
God said to his people of old, and to us today: “...Repent, all of you who
ignore me... “If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God."

Thanks be to God, for God’s gracious and merciful forgiveness of our sinfulness. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 12C [Ordinary 19C] or [Proper 14C] 2013
Psalm 50: 1-8, 22-23

The Psalm opens with another example of the theophany of God’s
power and majesty, reflected in the beauty of Temple built on Mount
Zion, and described as the glorious symbol of God’s holy presence
with them, and was described as “...the perfection of beauty, God
shines in glorious radiance. Our God approaches with the noise of
thunder. Fire devours everything in his way, and a great storm rages
around him. Heaven and earth will be his witnesses as he judges his
This brilliant imagery also showed God’s power to bless and
judge God’s own people. The ancient people of God seemed to revel
in the awe-inspiring glory and utter magnificence of God’s presence,
and the more noise and fire the more they gloried in God’s power and
in what we describe today as God’s so-called “special effects”, as the
power of God as experienced in nature, told of God’s glory. Meanwhile,
the trembling people waited to receive God’s judgement on their worship.

Creative pause: Do God’s “special effects” empower you?

The wonder and holiness of God’s presence, as is daily experienced
and expressed through nature, comes to me in much quieter and gentler
ways, but which are no less awe-inspiring or wonderful for all that; and
these experiences are still intended to bless and judge. To me, the power
and majesty of God’s presence inspires within me a sense of wonder at
the glory of God as I see and experience the beauty of the rising or setting
sun; the brilliant glory of the night sky; the perfection of a single flower; the
fragile beauty and blush of colour in a seashell; the flight and freedom of
birds and butterflies; in one single multi-hued feather; the majestic power
of the sea and the wonder of tidal pools; the glory of autumn leaves; and
countless other experiences of God’s presence that are made known to
us in blessing for our obedience, or in judgement for our disobedience.

Creative pause: How does God inspire awed and reverent worship in you?

To me, the other outstanding element of this Psalm is that God only asked
one thing of the “faithful people”, and that was “to listen”! “..."O my people,
listen as I speak. Here are my charges against you.... I am God, your God!”

In this noisy life, to really “listen” to the world around us seems to be almost
a lost art! Wherever I go, I see people and even children going to school with
the ears blocked by ear-pieces for their phones or music “apps”! They do not
hear the songs of the birds, the sounds of the wind in the trees, and the voices
of neighbours and friends. I find this all very troubling. With people so self-
absorbed with their private entertainment, what hope is there of communal
living and relationships? God is asking that we listen for God’s words to us!
Will we ever hear God’s voice in blessing or judgment if our ears are blocked?

Creative pause: How will we hear God’s voice in blessing or judgment?

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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