A Call to Worship
Pentecost 22C [Ordinary 29C] or [Proper 24C] 2013
Psalm 119: 97-104

Called to be God’s people, we gather to worship God who is our constant Guide.
For we were created to respond in love to the God who teaches and blesses us.

Called to be a people of faith, we gather to joyfully praise the Reality of our God.
For we were created to respond to God in faith, hope, devotion and commitment.

Called to gather, we respond as one people in obedience to our Covenantal God.
For we have been accepted by God as children of God’s promises, to be guided
into the paths of truth, and to be instructed in wisdom, right living, peace and justice. Amen.

Prayers of Trust and Thankfulness
Pentecost 22C [Ordinary 29C] or [Proper 24C] 2013
Psalm 119: 97-104

Trustworthy God, your people in ancient times really knew how to thank you
for your inspirational truths; as in response to God’s guiding and blessing,
they created songs and Psalms to God’s greater glory. In so doing, they
taught other people the joy of trusting and worshipping the God who knew
and understood them. These glorious outpourings of religious truths have
been treasured for centuries; and today, we add our voices in praise and
thanks for their commitment to nurturing people’s understanding of God’s
ways and plans for all humanity. We thank and worship our Creating God.

Holy God, we give thanks for the way you inspired your chosen people to
revere and honour your wisdom, your mercy and your ever-abiding presence
with them, which blessed them in so many aspects of their life. In their ever
evolving relationship with their Holy God, they learned and relearned that you
are to be trusted, worshipped and praised. Today, in a very different context—
we seek your blessing on the people of this community of faith, and all other
faith communities, so that we all may continue to grow in our shared knowledge
and understanding of our God, as revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures; and in
our personally evolving growth in love and grace. We praise you, Faithful God.

God of the past, present and future, we say with the Psalmist: “How sweet are
your words to my taste…Your commandments give me understanding…”
give thanks for the way new truths about living, life and loving are revealed to us
each day, if we have the eyes and ears to recognise them; and for the new truths
and revelations that are brought to our attention, often from surprising sources
or people. We pray that you will continue to surprise us each day with new ideas,
new wisdom and new understanding, so that we may worship and praise you, all
the days of our life – individually, and as a community of faith – so that we may
always rejoice in God’s ever-new presence with us. We trust you, Surprising God. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 22C [Ordinary 29C] or [Proper 24C] 2013
Psalm 119: 97-104

The Torah is not only the first five books of the Bible, to the people of
God, it was their foundational record of who they were, what they were,
and who they were to become. The Torah was also their calling by God
into nationhood and into a trusting relationship with Yahweh – the One
True God, who had expressed a deep love and acceptance of them in a
unique way. That gracious outreaching to them by God was confirmed for
them by their sacred covenant relationship, and also through the gift to
them of rules and obligations for loving and worshipping God, for their
communal living in harmonious relationships that they knew as “Shalom”.
There is a house not far from me named “Shalom”, and I often wonder if
the people who live there, live any differently to my way of living and loving.

Creative pause: How do I live out “Shalom”

The structure of these eight verses fascinates me, as the author makes
a series of statements, and after each one there is a clear rationale for the
statement. “... I have refused to walk on any path of evil, that I may remain
obedient to your word....”
He used words such as “for I...”,... “No wonder I...
“...that I...”
If only I could be as clear in my mind why it is that I try to follow
in God’s ways and truths; why it is that some things puzzle me about my
walk in faith, trust and hope; and why it is that doubts keep coming along!

Creative pause: What clarity of understanding the author provides.

This acrostic Psalm, which uses successive letters of their alphabet to
demonstrate the diversity and breadth of life under God, provides us with
an opportunity to become more obedient to God. Brueggemann1 writes
that just as Psalm 145 “...enables full praise to be rendered ..” to God, so
Psalm 119 enables us to offer “....full obedience to be offered...” to God.
“... ....A Torah-ordered life is as safe, predictable, and complete as the
movement of the psalm..... it is a psalm of utter trust and submission....
A life of full obedience is not a conclusion of faith. It is a beginning point
and as access to a life filled with many-sided communion with God......”

As you may have noticed, I have become rather addicted to the videos
and writings of Walter Brueggemann with all his scholarship, wisdom and
insights, and I make no apologies for that, instead, I give sincere thanks
to God for discovering this man’s work, and to have access to his wisdom.
I also seem to be addicted to the Psalms and their insights into life and the
worship of God. I also know that they are but the beginning of the journey.

Creative pause: Can the Psalms introduce us to the start of our faith journey?

1. Walter Brueggemann
Based on text by Professor Walter Brueggemann
from “The Message of the Psalms” [chapter 2/ page39-41]
©1984 Augsburg Publishing House

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.


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