A Call to Worship
Pentecost 7C [Ordinary 14C] or [Proper 9C] 2013
Psalm 30

God of life, as a community in past days and weeks,
we have brought to you our pain and our sorrows.
Comforting God, we give thanks and praise to you
that we can always share our burdens with you.

Saving God, you who knows our fears and our needs,
you have indeed heard our cries for help and mercy.
Listening God, we come today to worship you—
with thanks and praise for your great goodness.

God of new life and vitality, we joyfully come
to worship you with a bright spring in our step.
O Lord our God, we cried out to you for help,
and you restored our hope, and gave us
a new song of praise. So, we cannot keep silent!
Together, we give you all our thanks! Amen.

Prayers of Thankfulness and Praise
Pentecost 7C [Ordinary 14C] or [Proper 9C] 2013
Psalm 30

Listening God, whilst this has been a time of individual pain, fear and sorrow,
it had brought us closer together in a shared outpouring of grief, loss and a
sense of need for each other, and to come together before our God as one body.
Generous God, we come with just one thought as we give voice to songs of
praise; as we gather as one to praise and thank our God! Individual songs and
praises are insufficient for the depths of thankfulness we are experiencing today,
and so together, our one thought has become a great outpouring of shared praise!
In faith and trust in our Loving God, we had previously gathered together to
support and encourage each other in our great need; and now we gather again,
to give thanks and to celebrate God’s great goodness to us all. God’s ways of
healing and restoration are beyond words, yet we offer the words we can find
in praise and thankfulness. O Lord our God, we will give you our thanks forever!

Healing and Renewing God, you have taken away our tears and our dull and
dreary mourning robes, and you have dressed us with the glorious colours of joy—
so they we feel like dancing to the songs of all creation. Our community life has
been revitalised, and you have gifted us with new meaning and purpose to our life
as a “community” of faith. We give thanks for the resources from the past, such
as the Psalms and the historical records of God’s involvement with God’s people—
because now, we can relate directly to their experiences of God’s grace and mercy.

Creating God, this shared new life in God encourages us to speak out, to sing and
share the good news that our Saving God is the same as always – giving, loving
and saving; and yet - our God is also ever-new, as each succeeding generation
makes its own discoveries about God’s goodness, mercy and healing generosity.
Transforming God, we give thanks that this God-given newness invites each of us
to a recommitment to living under God’s guidance within our communal life; and to
also renew our personal commitment to God, and to living in God’s way of loving,
forgiving and reaching out to others. Holy and Grace-giving God, accept our songs
of praise, our prayers and our thanksgiving, as we come together to worship you. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 7C [Ordinary 14C] or [Proper 9C] 2013
Psalm 30

I was brought up in a Christian tradition whose members came to God in
“Prayers of Confession” for past failures and for each new separation from
God. Walter Brueggemann in his book “The Message of the Psalms”1 teaches
that “giving thanks” to God is also a confession of acceptance that it is God
who gives us new life, new hope, and who transforms our mourning into
joyful dancing; and who discards our dreary mourning robes and clothes
us in joy. He also teaches that “confessing” is making a commitment to me—
and to the one to whom I am confessing; and that to “confess” my thanks
to God is to recommit myself to God! There are many definitions regarding
“confession”, but most relate to something we have done or failed to do; yet
in the “Young Churches”, new believers were encouraged to confess their
faith in God. The use of the word “confessing” still leaves me with a sense of
failure and loss, and yet I quite readily admit to being a follower of God in
my daily living - so maybe, I am simply mixing myself up with these words!!

Creative pause: Do I “confess” my sin, or do I “confess” my faith in God?

There have been dark days in the community of faith to which I belong, when
the power of words has destroyed credibility; when the power of innuendo
blackened and almost defeated the faith and character of another pilgrim;
and when the power of certain actions by others has a debilitating effect on
those others who seek to follow in God’s ways. These are damaging and
dark days in any community of faith, and yet we never seem to learn from
our past mistakes. However, Psalm 30 shows us the way forward! “....O Lord
my God, I cried out to you for help, and you restored my health. You brought
me up from the grave, O Lord. You kept me from falling into the pit of death...”

Despite the gravity of the situation for the Psalmist, he swallowed his pride and
flung himself before God, asking God to help him deal with his unknown issues.

Creative pause: When dark days become filled with the light of God!

“....When I was prosperous I said, "...Nothing can stop me now...!" There are
times when my arrogance acknowledges no boundaries, and I think I am almost
invincible! But then I usually have a painful fall from grace! Like the Psalmist, I
have cried out: "...What will you gain if I die, if I sink down into the grave? Can
my dust praise you from the grave...?
Such arrogance to think that God can’t
manage without me! Yet, it is only when I admit to myself my own weaknesses
and vulnerability, that there is the possibility for a transforming effect to take place
within me. If I accept my limitations - that offers new opportunities for others to
“do their own thing” in new and exciting ways. Yet, I wonder if I will ever learn?
“....I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me...” even from myself! “...Sing
to the Lord...., praise his holy name.... his favour lasts a lifetime....... joy comes
with the morning..... O my God, I will give you thanks forever...!”
Thankfully, the
God that I worship is everlastingly patient and loving, generous and forgiving.

Creative pause: God’s possibilities of transformation are always there.

1 Based on text by Walter Brueggemann
from “The Message of the Psalms” [pages 126-128]
©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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