A Call to Worship
Pentecost 19C [Ordinary 26C] or [Proper 21C] 2013
Psalm 91: 1-6, 14-16

Reassuring God, we come to be still and to find rest in the Fortress that is our God.
We come to worship our God, because we can be our true selves in God’s presence.

Cherishing God, we come, because you offer us a secure refuge in our life’s storms.
We come to worship our God, who sustains us even in life’s dark and shadowy times.

Rescuing God, we come to remember and give thanks for your care of us throughout
our life; and to give thanks for God’s ever-comforting and guiding presence with us.
We come to worship our God, because God is always listening and answering our calls—
even if we do not understand God’s answers, we know we can trust our Keeping God. Amen.

Prayers of Thankfulness and Trust
Pentecost 19C [Ordinary 26C] or [Proper 21C] 2013
Psalm 91: 1-6, 14-16

Cherishing and Reassuring God, we come to worship and thank you
for your goodness to us as individuals, and as a community of faith.
Each of us, at various times, have gratefully found shelter under God’s
wings, and we have found a secure refuge in God’s invincible presence
when battered by life’s storms, and for this we thank our Trustworthy
God. The psalmist wrote that “...in God alone...” he found safety and
a sense of security and protection; and each of us have sought that
security in many places and from many people – but it is in “God alone”
that we can experience that sense of profound peace and sanctuary.
“I declare of the Lord: He alone is my refuge… my God, I am trusting him...”

Intimate God, the Psalmist called you “...my refuge, my place of safety…
my God…”,
and God invites each of us into that same intimate relationship
of trust and acceptance. Satisfying God, help us to let go all that we cling
to that belongs to this “world”, and to place our complete trust in the God
of the ages, the God of millions of saints in light, and the God of our future.
“The Lord says, I will rescue ... I will protect those who trust in my name..."

God of reliable promises, God said: “...This I declare: I will rescue you...
I will shield you... I will protect you... I will answer you...I will honour you...
I will be with you... I will satisfy you...”
In humble thanks, we hear and we
acknowledge these gracious and generous gifts from our Loving God.
Help us to respond to God in love and trust all the days of our shared lives.
“God’s faithful promises are your armour and protection. Don’t be afraid...” Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 19C [Ordinary 26C] or [Proper 21C] 2013
Psalm 91: 1-6, 14-16

This magnificent Psalm of deep personal trust in God begins with the words:
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of
the Almighty….”
My imagination immediately picked up on the following words:
“shelter” and “shadow” and transposed the words into gardening terms! Plants
that grow in “sheltered” and “shadowed” situations have special requirements—
including toughness to cope with little light. Conversely, they also need to be
protected from direct sunlight to ensure that they reach their full potential. The
term “living in the shadow” is often a derogatory statements about a person who
eclipses others because of their strong personality. Yet in this instance, being or
living in God’s shadow is a great blessing, because we simply could not live within
the “light” of God’s glorious being - so we shelter from God and we shelter in God!

Creative pause: Being sheltered from and by God is a double blessing.

In the first verse of the Psalm, the author has named God by four ancient divine
titles,1 as he apparently struggled to give God all appropriate honour: ...“Elyon”
God “the Most High”; “Shaddai” - translated as “the Almighty”; “Yahweh” - in English
it is “Jehovah”; and “Elohim” - the name for the one true God of the people of Israel.

Creative pause: The Psalmist offered his deep reverence to God’s name - do we?

The Psalmist had obviously led a rather difficult life, because otherwise, how could
he testify to God’s capacity and willingness to offer shelter, refuge, encouragement,
neediness, security, to calm doubts, and to understand what it means to feel and be
dishonoured! It is no wonder that this song of praise and trust resonates with so many
people; and I believe that is so because it is illustrates what “real” in life, and is not
an imaginary situation. Bad things really do happen to “good” people, but we can be
encouraged by the author’s experiences; and by praying such a prayer, the author
invites others into his own experiences and shares with us his responses to those
problematic situations. For me, that is the honesty and challenge of the Psalms – if he
did that and survived with God’s help - then I can as well! “...The Lord says, "I will
rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call
on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them....”

Creative pause: The honesty of the Psalms invites me to try their successful solutions!

1 “The New Jerusalem Bible - Study Edition” -
See “Footnotes” Page 909
© 1985 by Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd; & Doubleday
a Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc.
Used with permission

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.


Download/view a pdf file of this document here: pentecost19[26]c_2013.pdf