A Call to Worship
Pentecost 21A [Ordinary 31A] or [Proper 26A] 2014
Psalm 107: 1-7, 33-37

Be still in the presence of the steadfast love of God, and give thanks!
God steadfast love endures forever. Thanks be to God for that blessing!

Be still in the presence of the faithful love of God, and give thanks!
God’s faithful love never fails or diminishes. Thanks be to God always!

Be still in the presence of the active and trustworthy love of God, and
give thanks for the many blessings God so generously showers upon us!
God’s active and trustworthy love is unlimited, vast and without measure!
We announce with joyous abandon the infinite greatness of the Lord God! Amen.

Psalm 107: 1-7, 33-37

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
3 For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
from east and west, from north and south.
4 Some wandered in the wilderness, lost and homeless.
5 Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died.
6 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he rescued them from their distress.
7 He led them straight to safety, to a city where they could live.

33 He changes rivers into deserts, and springs of water into dry, thirsty land.
34 He turns the fruitful land into salty wastelands, because of the wickedness of those
who live there.
35 But he also turns deserts into pools of water, the dry land into springs of water.
36 He brings the hungry to settle there and to build their cities.
37 They sow their fields, plant their vineyards, and harvest their bumper crops.

Prayers of Thankfulness
Pentecost 21A [Ordinary 31A] or [Proper 26A] 2014
Psalm 107: 1-7, 33-37

Come and be still in the presence of the steadfast love of God, whose gracious
mercy has blessed us with the freedom to give voice to our thankfulness, as
together we celebrate God’s infinite goodness to us as individuals and as a
community of faith. In our distress we have cried out to God, and God has
immediately responded, and we were released from all that threatened and
frightened us. By God’s grace and mercy, we have been released from all that
inhibits, restricts and confines us because of our past mistakes, our sin, our
foolishness or our deep sense of guilt! We have been freed to celebrate with
sincere thanks all those great gifts God’s with which has generously blessed us.

Come and be still in the presence of the faithful love of God, and give thanks,
because God’s faithful love never becomes diminished or weakened by being
shared around. Each of us have stories to tell of God’s faithful love for us, and
how that love has transformed our anxious and fear-filled times into trusting inner
peace and quietness of heart and mind. Each of us have also had experiences
of isolation and separation from all that we have loved; and we affirm with joy,
what it means to return to the blessed encouragement of being welcomed back
into a beloved community. For these and many other blessings, we give thanks.

Come and be still in the presence of the active and trustworthy love of God, as
being able to trust in God is a wonderful gift! God’s active love has transformed
wasted lives into renewed vitality and purpose; that active love has turned pain
and sorrow into radiant joy; and that vigorous love of God has changed parched
lives into refreshing springs of faithful service to needy people. We give thanks
for these and many other miracles of God’s amazing grace and merciful pardon,
which has rehabilitated lives; created new strengths in relationships; and rebuilt
trust in damaged lives to a sense of normality and personal pride. We come, to
be still before our Awesome God, and to joyfully celebrate God’s steadfast love. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 21A [Ordinary 31A] or [Proper 26A] 2014
Psalm 107: 1-7, 33-37

Psalm 107 is a special song of thankfulness, firstly for God’s steadfast love
towards all creation, and then it presents several examples of the activities
of that faithful and enduring love. Verses 3-6 probably refer to the return of
the “Jewish diaspora” - those people who had left their homeland because
of political or religious pressures, and who were attempting to return to their
home, but under very trying and difficult circumstances. “...Some wandered
in the wilderness, lost and homeless. Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died...”

In their distress they cried out to the Lord for help, and God immediately and
mercifully responded to their needs. The closing section of the psalm presents
transformative images that were only made possible by God’s steadfast love.

Creative pause: The wonderfully transforming powers of God’s steadfast love!

Life sends us many challenges and problems, which often strike at our most
vulnerable and often hidden parts of ourself. There have been several such
life-changing moments in my life, which have had quite devastating impacts—
but which in hindsight, have created new inner strengths; and a new reliance
on God’s guiding hand. I certainly cried out for God’s help and guidance, and
in most unexpected ways, quite amazing outcomes occurred which redirected
my whole life, simply as a result of God’s hand on me in those times of stress.

Creative pause: When you cry “Help” to God, do you expect an immediate answer?

In his new book “Psalms” Professor Walter Brueggemann writes: “The initial
summons of verse 1 brings together the proposed human act of “thanks” and
the substance for which Israel is grateful, divine “steadfast love”. That, briefly
stated, is the sum of Israel’s grateful faith. The beneficiaries of God’s steadfast
love can attest to the particular ways in which God’s actions have been reliable.
....the pivot point is the “cry” of need and the response of the “rescue”.....The
cry is an admission of need, and exhaustion of self-sufficiency, and a readiness
for dependence...the two terms “cry” and “deliver” allow between them no space,
no pause, no anxiety, no bargaining and no uncertainty...”
1 It is the steadfast
reliability of God’s love that we all – you and I - can always and joyfully celebrate.

Creative pause: God’s reliability is a key to trusting in God.

1 Text by Professor Walter Brueggemann
& William H Bellinger Junior
from “Psalms” Psalm 107 Page 464/5
© 2014 Cambridge University Press

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 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:
© 2014 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year A. Used with permission.


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