A Call to Worship
After Pentecost 18B [Ordinary 25B] or [Proper 20B] 2018
Psalm 1

We come to celebrate the joy and privilege of together worshipping God.
We come together to praise God, to sing, to pray; and to be encouraged.

We come to share together in our delight that we are so blessed by God!
We come together to give our heartfelt thanks for God’s generous love.

We come together to share our joy and delight that God’s faithful people
are under the watchful eyes of God; who guides us with love and mercy.
We come together this day to give thanks for the gifts of wonder, beauty
and mystery; and for the insights these give us into the Being of our God. Amen.

Psalm 1

1 Oh, the joys of those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.

4 But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.

6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Prayers of Thankfulness and Praise
After Pentecost 18B [Ordinary 25B] or [Proper 20B] 2018
Psalm 1

We come to celebrate the joy and privilege of together worshipping God; that we
can sing our praises, pray our prayers with an assurance that God hears them; and
to encourage each other in our faith journey through our shared experiences. Today,
we give thanks for the unexpected blessings you give to us; for the comforting help
that is unexpectedly given to us; and for those unexpected holy moments when God
is especially near to us. We give thanks for the unexpected joy and delight we see
or hear from the beauty of God’s creation; for help we receive when we most needed
it; and for the unexpected warmth of a hug or handshake when life is very challenging.

We come to share together in our delight that we are so blessed by God’s generous
love! We give thanks for beauty when we have known ugliness and brutality; for the
joy of health when we have known illness, depression or trauma from an accident; for
the privilege of a fresh start when we have struggled and failed; for the wonderful gift
of hope when our fears have only promised a disaster; and for the gift of holiness in a
life lived with God and followed in God’s ways. We give thanks for life, love and trust.

We come together to share our joy and delight that God’s faithful people are under the
watchful eyes of God; who guides us with love and mercy. Today we give thanks and
praises to our Creating God for placing us in a world where our interdependence on each
other teaches us the meaning of community; for the gift of intelligence and will that enables
us to learn from our mistakes; for the gift of mystery and wonder which provides us with
no easy answers to life’s great questions; and for the gift of hope, trust and faith in our
God, who each day reveals to us new insights to the Being and Nature of God’s-Own-Self. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
After Pentecost 18B [Ordinary 25B] or [Proper 20B] 2018
Psalm 1

In a recent newspaper in the section ‘Letter to the Editor’, a writer complained about
the weekly ‘Prayers of Confession’ in the liturgy that were irrelevant to today’s living;
and that any ‘sin’ committed was not necessarily done deliberately or unknowingly.
This letter bothered me, because I guess it depends on what is our definition of ‘sin’; and
whether that ‘sinning’ concept is irrelevant - even ‘old fashioned’ in today’s world! Even
if the Ten Commandments were given by God to Moses for the people of Israel around
2,300 years ago; they were intended to enable the Israelites to live together in cohesion,
in harmony with each other; and in a community of wisdom and respect. This involved
both their personal and shared worship life, in a faithful, committed relationship with God.

Creative pause: Are the Prayers of Confession important to you as part of worship?

Even today, if we look at those Ten Commandments as a basis for a shared community
life, and we examined those Commandments starting at #10 – there are few of us who
‘not guilty’ of envy or jealousy; or how many reputations have we ‘falsely testified’ against
or even been ‘murdered’ for the sake of telling a ‘good story’? How many of us are ‘not
guilty’ of taking home materials from work, thinking that they would not be missed? How
many of us are ‘not guilty’ of having looked at or thought of other people in an adulterous
manner? How many of us have ridiculed our parents for their outdated standards and
ideas; or denied them the affection and respect due to them as our parents? And finally,
how many of us are ‘guilty’ of not honouring and worshipping God and in not giving God
our first allegiance; and instead, have placed the shared and private worship of God as
a low priority; and doing our part in helping make the reign of God a reality for all people?
Personally, I can only pray: “Lord have mercy! Christ have mercy! Lord have mercy!” as
I continue to need to trust in the grace of our forgiving God. I have not even mentioned
our shared ‘sin’ as a community of faith; or how I’ve failed a local neighbourhood ‘sin’ test!

Creative pause: “Lord have mercy! Christ have mercy! Lord have mercy!”

Psalm 1 introduces us to the Psalter and urges all believers to a lifestyle that is centred
on meditating on God’s Law on a regular basis; letting that meditation be a guide to our
living and relationship with God; and with our family, friends neighbours and the wider
world. Psalm 1 is the first of the two bookends of the Psalter, with Psalm 150 providing
the other bookend. Psalm 1 divides people into two categories, the ‘godly’ who have great
joy and who delight in obediently living according to God’s Law; whilst the wicked are
heading towards their own destruction. There is no compromise position in that – no people
who are half good and half bad – or what we would today probably consider to be rather
ordinary people struggling to live as good a life as they can. Psalm 150 does not divide
people into categories – everyone and everything is involved in praising their Lord God!

Creative pause: Psalm 1 is a guide to how our lives are best lived!

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 help and inspiration so frequently available from the writings of Professor Walter Brueggemann and Professorial brothers Rolf and Karl Jacobson; and the resources from "The Text this Week" (Textweek).

If the Prayers and/or Meditation are used in shared worship, please provide this acknowledgement:
© 2018 Joan Stott –‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Based on verses from Psalm 1.
Used with permission.


Download/view a pdf file of this document here: pentecost18[25]b_2018.pdf