A Call to Worship
Pentecost 4A [Ordinary 14A] or [Proper 9A] 2014
Psalm 45: 10-17

Within the beauty of God’s supreme holiness: we gather together to worship our God.
We come, to be still before God: to rejoice in the glories of God’s pure holiness.

Within the wonder of God’s unconditional love: we gather together to praise our God.
We come, to be still before God: to delight in the miracle of God’s near presence.

Within the majesty of God’s gracious generosity: we gather together to honour and
revere the God who is beyond all earthly powers; and above all people and things.
We come, to be still before God: to celebrate the holy majesty of God, whose glories
are beyond our comprehension and experiences, but who welcomes us to this act
of worship, praise, singing and prayer – who accepts us into an ageless fellowship. Amen.

Psalm 45: 10-17

10 Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say.
Forget your people and your homeland far away.
11 For your royal husband delights in your beauty;
honour him, for he is your lord.
12 The princes of Tyre will shower you with gifts.
People of great wealth will entreat your favour.
13 The bride, a princess, waits within her chamber,
dressed in a gown woven with gold.
14 In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king,
accompanied by her bridesmaids.
15 What a joyful, enthusiastic procession as they enter the king's palace!
16 Your sons will become kings like their father.
You will make them rulers over many lands.
17 I will bring honour to your name in every generation.
Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.

Prayers of Praise
Pentecost 4A [Ordinary 14A] or [Proper 9A] 2014
Psalm 45: 10-17

Eternal God, majestic in the beauty of God’s supreme holiness, we gather
to worship and praise you, and to be still before God, even as we rejoice
in the glories of God’s holiness. In the stillness of your presence, quieten
our souls, our minds and our hearts, that we may know and experience the
wonder of the mystery of God’s holy majesty. May we as we worship, be
open to receive and know the sacredness of the beauty of God’s near
presence and majesty. Even as the psalmist seemed to struggle for words,
he extolled the glory of his earthly king. Help us to realise that there are
no words that are sufficient to honour or worship the Great God of all holiness.

Creating God, today we come to be still before you in worship, and as we
pause to listen to your Holy Scriptures, we are reminded about the wonder
of human love, and how that love is blessed by God. We give thanks for
those expressions of human love that lead us into the greater mystery of
Divine Love, as shown to us in the faithfulness of God’s steadfast love. We
give thanks, and we praise our God because that Divine Love empowers
and gives new insight into God’s-Own Self. “In heavenly love abiding, no
change my heart shall fear; ... my heart may low be laid; but God is round
about me, and can I be dismayed? ... and I will walk with him...and he with me.”

As we gather together to honour and revere the Awesome God of all creation—
who is beyond all known earthly powers and above all people and things; we
come to be still before God, and to celebrate the holy majesty of God. The
human expressions of majesty, power and beauty are but fleeting glimpses
that fade and die away; but God’s majesty, power and beauty are eternal and
beyond our comprehension and experiences; yet God welcomes our genuine
offerings of worship and praise.. “...God you are clothed with light, as with a
garment fair... the heavens and all therein express the glory of your holiness...”
2 Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 4A [Ordinary 14A] or [Proper 9A] 2014
Psalm 45: 10-17

The psalmist started his poem thus: “…My heart overflows with a beautiful
thought! I will recite a lovely poem to the king, for my tongue is like the pen
of a skilful poet…”
3 The lyrics that follow describe the majesty of an earthly
king; and also the happiness found in wedded bliss; but there is nothing that
can compare to the security and confidence of being part of a relationship with
God, who is the King of kings and Lord of all lords; but also our Eternal Friend!

Creative pause: How wonderful to live within a strong relationship with God!

The people who select the Revised Common Lectionary certainly present many
challenges to anyone attempting to write prayers or reflections based on the
set Bible readings. The Old Testament reading is the choosing by Abraham’s
servant of a suitable bride for his son Isaac - and the willingness of Rebekah to
marry an unknown Isaac. Psalm 45 sounds like a proud father’s offspring who
was about to be married to an eminent ruler; plus the optional reading from the
“Song of Songs”. The Gospel reading is about children playing dress-up for a
wedding or funeral; and the Epistle has Paul bewailing the fact that he doesn’t
do what he should, and he does what he should not! Surely a very complex and
difficult selection of readings, all dealing with relationships! The many examples
of human relationships are as nothing when compared with the blessedness, the
joy and delight of being a beloved child of God’s enduring and unchanging love!

Creative pause: Nothing compares to the blessedness of God’s enduring love!

Some of the commentary writers claim that this Psalm is an allegorical song to
celebrate the mystical union between God and God’s Church throughout the ages;
and that the Church must give its ultimate loyalty and fidelity to God, through its
righteousness, wisdom, beauty and commitment. This Psalm was originally sung
about 1,000 years BC, and its mystical imagery could be influenced by the beauty
of Solomon’s Temple, whose completion date varies according to several sources,
but probably around that same time. Does your place of worship inspire you to be
more faithful to God, and does the liturgy draw you nearer to the holiness of God?

Creative pause: Does your church and liturgy draw you nearer to the holiness of God?

1 “In heavenly love abiding”
From “Together in Song” # 588
Words by Anna Laetitia Waring (alt)
Words are in the Public Domain

2 “God you are clothed with light”
From “Together in Song” #193
Hymn from the Russian Church
Trans John Brownlie (alt)
Words are in the Public Domain

3 Psalm 45: 1 (NLT)

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.

*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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