A Call to Worship
After Pentecost 20C [Ordinary 27C] or [Proper 22C] 2016
Psalm 37: 1-9

We come in shared acts of worship and praise to revere and honour our God.
We gather as a community of faith, to marvel at the glory and majesty of God.

We come to worship our Trustworthy God, who is our true and only security.
We gather as a community of trust, well known through experiencing God’s love.

We come to be blessed by God; to be still before our God in awed wonder at the
daily miracles of God’s grace and mercy which are offered to God’s faithful people.
We gather as a community of hope, because we know that as we are obedient
and committed to our worship of God, that these actions brings delight to God. Amen.

Psalm 37: 1-9
A psalm of David.

1 Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

7 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
8 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.
9 For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.

Prayers of Trust and Thankfulness
After Pentecost 20C [Ordinary 27C] or [Proper 22C] 2016
Psalm 37: 1-9

Faith-Inspiring God, we come together as a community of faith to share in our acts
of worship to revere and honour our God, and to marvel at the majesty and glory
of the God of all creation. We come, as people of all ages to share together in the
story of our faith journey, and to give thanks for the many blessings that God has
gifted to us. We give thanks for the personal and shared blessings we have received
and which have enriched our shared lives. We come too, as people of all ages to
acknowledge that together, there are many lessons we have yet to learn about each
other, our strengths and weaknesses; what it really means to be forgiven by a loving
and generous God; and about what it means to be a part of God’s people right now.

Trust-Inspiring God, we gather together as a community that trusts in a Calling God—
who calls and invites us to become set aside to be God’s own people sharing God’s
messages of truth, love, mercy and grace in this needy world. We come as people
of all ages who have known and experienced life’s uncertainties, and who know that
God is the only true security we can know, and in whom we can have complete trust.
We come too, as people of all ages who have trusted in God through thick and thin—
and have not been disappointed. We acknowledge that sometimes our prayers have
not been answered as we asked of God, but with the wisdom of hindsight, we have
learned that God’s ways are always to be trusted and God’s guidance is best for us.

Hope-Inspiring God, we come to worship you our God, as a community of all ages
that have been welded together because of our hope in you, and because of your
abiding presence that is always with us. Each of us from our various age groups have
known and experienced in awed wonder, the daily miracles of God’s grace and mercy
offered to God’s faithful people, because we have sought to be committed and obedient
to God in our acts of worship, witness and service in God’s world. It is our prayer that
this commitment brings delight to God’s-Own-Self, and that we will continue to know
and recognise God’s generous blessings on us as God’s people in this place and time. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
After Pentecost 20C [Ordinary 27C] or [Proper 22C] 2016
Psalm 37: 1-9

I have a well-worn little book entitled: “Journey for a Soul” written by Anglican
priest George Appleton (1902-1993) who ministered with distinction in England,
Burma, Jerusalem and Australia. In the introduction to his book of prayers and
meditations he suggests that we travel towards three destinations – the first is
a journey of self-discovery. The second is a journey towards God, guided by the
Bible and “other scriptures” that are blended with insights and experiences of other
people; from intuitive insights that inspire belief in our God who has a love deeper
than we will ever understand. The third journey is towards other people whom we
communally live with as fellow human beings. The final section of the book has
the theme “The end” suggesting that our soul’s journey has been towards the goal—
our ultimate bonding to and with God. How we live and deal with that connection
depends on the three journeys we have taken during our own lifetime’s experiences!

Creative pause: How close is your connection to and with God?

David was an old man when he composed this psalm, and he was reflecting on
his spiritual and secular journey with its struggles and blessings; and what he had
learned from them all. In this psalm he encouraged the young people to trust in God,
and to take delight in their personal and shared experiences of God. What is it that
‘delights’ the Lord our God? According to Psalms 27 and 147 and in Isaiah 58, that
which brings great ‘delight’ to our God is shared worship of God in the sanctuary
together with God’s people; and honouring the Lord on the Sabbath by keeping that
day holy to the Lord and not be distracted by peripheral things! David also taught
them to “...Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act…”
Commentators suggest that to: “…wait patiently...” for God to act, means to long or
yearn for God to act; but to do so through constant and awed connection with God.

Creative pause: “...Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act…”

David’s advice to young people could be taken as a set of Old Testament ‘Beatitudes’!
I have rephrased their message as some examples: Vss 1-2 How blessed are those
who don’t worry or are not envious of those with no moral compass. Vs 3 How blessed
are those who trust in the Lord for they know where is their true security. Vs 4: How
blessed are those who delight in the Lord’s glory; for their priorities are in balance with
God’s plans for creation. Vss 5-6: How blessed are those whose thoughts and actions
are committed to God, because shalom, justice and peace become their guiding principles.
Vs 7: How blessed are those who long to know how to be still before the holy presence
of God; who honour God’s reign, regardless of the evil that strives to disrupt or destroy
God’s reign. Vss 8-9: How blessed are those who have learned self-control; for obedient,
committed people will always find favour with their Lord. But, woe to those with evil intent
and who deliberately deny all knowledge of God, because their powers are strictly limited.

Creative pause: “...Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you…”

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 inspiration available from the scholarship and writings of
Professor Walter Brueggemann; and through the resources from the internet and “The Text this Week” (Textweek).

If the Prayers and/or Meditations are used in shared worship, please provide this acknowledgement:
© 2016 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.


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