A Call to Worship
Pentecost 23B [Ordinary 31B] or [Proper 26B] 2012
Psalm 146

We come to worship you, Pilgrims’ God, as you are the hope of all people.
Faithful God, you keep all your promises, and today we celebrate this!

We come to praise you, Healing God, as you are our health and wholeness.
Holy God, you are our source of life, and we honour and revere you!

We come to rejoice in you, Liberating God, as you are our freedom.
Restoring God, you lift the burdens from our shoulders, and take
them into yourself. Let every generation praise and bless our God. Amen.

Prayers of Praise and Confession
Pentecost 23B [Ordinary 31B] or [Proper 26B] 2012
Psalm 146

Creating God, you have given humanity the privilege of living in a world
created in love and joy, and blessed us with the ever-present reality of
your ageless promises. Individually and collectively, we come together
in worship of our Glorious God; and to offer our praise and thankfulness
for the gifts of these expressions of the being and majesty of our God.
Our lives are blessed in so many ways, and yet, we accept these gifts
from God as our right and privilege. Generous God, we know however,
that not all people enjoy these good gifts from God, and that many people
are often cold, hungry or in need of shelter. We confess that often we have
failed to even recognise the pain, the needs and distress of other people.
Even as we praise you Merciful God, forgive us of our sin of being neglectful.

Grace-giving God, through your gracious love, individually and collectively—
we have received the gifts of a personal and combined history and memory.
We have received freedom of thought and expression; we have known and
accepted as our right and privilege the liberty to choose our educational
and health requirements; and in many instances, our employment or leisure
needs. Compassionate God, we know however, that not all people enjoy
these good gifts from God, and often they have to carry intolerable burdens
of responsibilities, far beyond their capacities to cope; that many people
are oppressed by external or internal pressures; that others have incurable
or chronic diseases that wear them down; and that many people struggle
with unemployment issues, or loss of confidence, hope and trust in others.
Even as we praise you Healing God, forgive us of our sin of wilful ignorance.

Faithful God, we rejoice in our heritage as your children, loved and accepted
by you for who we are and whom we were created to become. We give thanks
and praise to our God for creating us to live within communities of love and trust;
for enabling us to live and work together for the common good; and that we
have all been gifted with a personal and community conscience, which reminds
us of our responsibilities to others. Nurturing God, we know however, that not
all people enjoy these good gifts from God, and have to live their life under the
threat of persecution; the fear of being exiled from their homeland and never
having a place to feel secure and at peace with their neighbour; or never knowing
whom they can trust to care about them, no matter their age or their origins.
Even as we praise you Liberating God, forgive us of our sin of carelessness.
In trust and hope, we confess our sinfulness and seek God’s pardon and mercy. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 23B [Ordinary 31B] or [Proper 26B] 2012
Psalm 146

This Psalm begins as a personal commitment by the Psalmist to praising
God throughout his life and on into eternity, as he moved from one life
into another life with God. As Isaac Watts more recently wrote: “I’ll praise
my maker while I’ve breath, and when my voice is lost in death, praise
shall employ my nobler powers: my days of praise shall ne’er be past,
while life, and thought, and being last, or immortality endures....”
** How
many of our faith convictions find honest expression in such ancient words!

Creative pause: Ancient writers can give us the words we need to express ourselves!

The Psalmist then collected these individual experiences and expressions to
provide a mutual song of praise to our Redeeming God, and attempted to list
the things we should all be grateful for to our God. He also gave a warning to
be on guard against powerful and manipulative people. Like everyone else,
my fingers have also been burned by touching on issues that other people
claim as their own, but I guess that is how we learn our painful lessons in life.
However, our trust can truly be placed in God! The Psalmists and hymn writers
claim that, as can we all! Sometimes though, I find it hard to see God at work in
the world where there is so much pain, injustice, oppression and greed in nations’
and people’s lives! Yet, I have found that just as I gain hope in God’s presence—
so I have to trust in God’s powers to bring justice, mercy and peace to people.

Creative pause: Just as I rely on God’s strength, so I must rely on God’s promises.

The Psalmist uses Moses’ words saying we have three score years and ten,
with perhaps another ten years if we are healthy - whereas the Lord our God
will reign forever, and, is obviously there for the long haul along with all God’s
creation. Our view of life and its purposes on this planet is finite, whilst God’s
overview and involvement is infinite. I am content to leave things in God’s hands,
trusting that the Lord our God will reign forever over every generation, from the
beginning of time, until its ending and final consummation. Praise the LORD!

Creative pause: Praise the LORD, I tell myself. Praise the LORD! Amen!

** Words by Isaac Watts 1674-1748 (alt) Words in the Public Domain.

Unless stated otherwise, all Bible readings and extracts used in these weekly Prayers and Meditations are from
‘The New Revised Standard Version’ Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council
of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

*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:
© 2012 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Used with permission.


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