A Call to Worship
Pentecost 14C [Ordinary 22C] or [Proper 17C] 2010
Psalm 81: 1, 10-16

O Lord our God, we gather, to sing your praises—
to rejoice together in the strength of our God.
We sing for joy before the Lord our God.

We rejoice that you have mercifully responded
to your people’s needs in their darkest hours:
We gather to praise the Lord our God.

You have been the God of our forebears,
and you brought them through trials and distress.
Today, with thankful hearts filled with praise for
our great God, we come to worship the Lord our God. Amen.

Prayers of Confession and Lament
Pentecost 14C [Ordinary 22C] or [Proper 17C] 2010
Psalm 81: 1, 10-16

O Lord our God, we gather to share in our worship of you.
We sing your praises and give our thanks to you for your
great goodness; but we also bring our regrets and failures,
and offer them to God for healing and merciful forgiveness.

O God, we remember with remorse the many times we rejected
the care you offered us; the times we accepted all your goodness
and mercy, without even thanking or acknowledging your presence.

With deep regret, we also remember the many times we refused
to listen to your guiding word; especially when we were in trouble.
We chose to travel our own foolish ways, doing as we liked; and
turning our backs on the truths we learned from our forebears—
especially the outcomes of their rebellious actions against God.

Long-suffering God, we have even taken the opportunity
with gleeful anticipation, the opportunities to seek revenge on
others; to delight in planning the worst acts of vice and depravity—
ignoring the results of these godless acts to ourselves and others.

Awesome God, help us to remember that when God confronts evil,
that it is evil that cringes before the holiness of God; that immorality
is afraid to be near the power of God and runs in the other direction;
and that corruption melts away before the piercing glance of God!
Compassionate God, help us also to remember that when evil
is on the rampage, it leaves behind victims who need our care,
our prayers, support and encouragement to start again in life.

We remember with thankfulness that this awesome God always
yearns for people to come again before God in worship and praise;
that this wonderful God longs to pour into the emptiness of our lives
the fullness of God’s own life and holiness; the joy of God’s shalom;
and a blessèd and secure relationship between God and God’s people.
Holy God, we come to you to confess our sin, and seek your mercy. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 14C [Ordinary 22C] or [Proper 17C] 2010
Psalm 81: 1, 10-16

O Lord my God, I come to worship you with joy and with
thankfulness for your great mercies, and for your loving
and forgiving patience towards me. According to my
ancestor’s stories, you were their faithful God and they
trusted you to lead them into paths of new discovery,
and never once did you disappoint, fail or desert them.

Creative pause: My ancestors rejoiced in God’s mercy.

However, I have also heard stories of their struggles against
incredible difficulties, as they tried to establish a life for
themselves in a new land. Because of their isolation and
loneliness, they branched out on their own, and found a
less-Godly life-style. As a result, they strayed far away
from any community worship and praise of their God.

Creative pause: Struggling to remain faithful to God.

It was only after painful self-examination and remorse,
that my ancestors turned away from their denial of God;
and sought forgiveness and renewal as God’s children—
that they once again became people listening to God’s
guiding and direction; and found that their generous God
welcomed them back home into the community of the faith.

Creative pause: Self-examination is a painful necessity.

My ancestor’s story could be mine! As I examine my own
thoughts, concepts, desires and actions, I am filled with regret!
If only I had stayed faithful to God! If only I had been more
attentive to God’s leading, I would not have experienced this
sense of emptiness and loss, this bewilderment and desolation!

Creative pause: Struggling with my inner emptiness.

Now, through the grace God gave me to rethink the direction my
life had been taking; the Lord my God has warmly welcomed me
back home into God’s shalom! Not only have I been so generously
accepted, blessed and forgiven by God, but the empty places in
my life have been filled to overflowing with God’s love and mercy.

Creative pause: Life’s sweetest pleasure - being at home with God.

Unless stated otherwise, all Bible readings and extracts used in these weekly Prayers and Meditations are from
‘The New Revised Standard Version’ Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council
of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

*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:
© 2010 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.


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