A Call to Worship
Pentecost 7B [Ordinary 15B] or [Proper 10B] 2015
Psalm 85: 8-13

Ever-faithful God, we gather to listen for your words of unfailing love.
In awed wonder, we gather to receive the enlightening truth of God.

Dependable God, we gather to participate in your acts of unfailing love.
In grateful thanks, we gather to receive the blessings God pours on us.

Trustworthy God, we gather to respond to your words and actions of
unfailing love and mercy, as we receive and know peace in your presence.
In humble commitment, we gather to receive God’s promise of Shalom—
to enable us to walk each day in hope and to trust in God’s holy promises. Amen.

Psalm 85: 8-13
For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.

8 I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying,
for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
But let them not return to their foolish ways.
9 Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him,
so our land will be filled with his glory.

10 Unfailing love and truth have met together.
Righteousness and peace have kissed!
11 Truth springs up from the earth,
and righteousness smiles down from heaven.
12 Yes, the LORD pours down his blessings.
Our land will yield its bountiful harvest.
13 Righteousness goes as a herald before him,
preparing the way for his steps.

Prayers of Trust and Petition
Pentecost 7B [Ordinary 15B] or [Proper 10B] 2015
Psalm 85: 8-13

God of unfailing love and faithfulness, in awed wonder we gather to receive
from you the blessed enlightenment of the truth of our God, even though we
can only grasp a little of the majesty and glory of God’s love and faithfulness.
You have gathered us into a community of faith, where together we can support
and nurture each other in the love and acceptance we have learned from you.
Help us to share in that loving and nurturing encouragement, so that together
we are built up in faith and in the knowledge of God our Lord and Liberator, now
and always. It is because we have experienced your love and acceptance that
we can with confidence, accept the care and encouragement from other people.

God of shalom and spiritual well-being, in the security of your presence we gather
to worship and praise you for your gift of peace, and the transforming power with
which that peace blesses us. Yet, many of us are also troubled and anxious about
family and personal issues; in addition, many of us are concerned for the state of our
world and for international relationships; and so we confidently bring these concerns
to you, asking for your blessings and guidance in the way forward that accords with
your will. Help us to listen for your words and actions of unfailing love showered on
your faithful people, and may our response to that love be worthy of that great gift.

God of truth, and Guide to our living in a right relationship with God, whose promises
remind us of the eternal fidelity and beauty of our Gracious and Generous God; so
we celebrate the good news that your liberating powers are nearer to us than we
ever dared to dream; that you understand our lapses into foolishness because of
your great mercy; and we ask that you forgive us our foolish ways. We give thanks
that you offer us the truth of your words and actions in ways that we can understand,
that we can accept and seek to live by; and that you do not overwhelm us with more
than we can handle. In humble commitment, we gather to respond to your grace; to
receive God’s promise of shalom; which enables us to walk each day in peaceful hope. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 7B [Ordinary 15B] or [Proper 10B] 2015
Psalm 85: 8-13

Psalm 85 starts as a lament, then changes to a confident anticipation of a
world transformed by God’s gracious and generous actions. How positive are
we when we pray for God’s intervention in the world “affairs”, as we lament
the state of our world; and of the personal greed and ambition of the world’s
peoples? And how optimistic are we in our hoping that God will bring real
transformation into people’s lives? The answers to these questions do not lie
in our lamenting, our optimism or even our hoping, but they lie in the character
and nature of faithful and liberating God, whom we trust to bring about change!

Creative pause: Are you listening as God “speaks peace to his faithful people...”

Professor Brueggemann in his commentary on Psalm 85 writes of true and
dishonest “Shalom prophets” with an example of those dishonest “Shalom
Jeremiah prophesied on the Lord’s behalf: “From the least to the
greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. From prophets to priests, they are all
frauds. They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They
give assurances of peace when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their
disgusting actions? Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush…!”
1 The
reported fact that there are approximately 50 million displaced persons world-
wide should surely make anyone “blush”, regardless of one’s own nation’s
culture, religion or traditions! There are an apparently never-ending numbers
of desperate people prepared to risk their lives to escape to another nation
where they hope that their family can live in peace and security. Yet, why do
we only marginally concern ourselves with such desperate people arriving on
our own shores/borders; and ignore the many others across the world whilst
suggesting that “someone out there do something”? How are we to respond to
this humanitarian crisis without “blushing” in shame for all levels of government’s
lack of compassion for these people; or to speak out to help make a difference?

Creative pause: Have you helped to heal “people’s mortal wound”?

I was once presented with a gift with the inscription: “To the prophet Joan...”
I found this a very challenging description! Professor Brueggemann wrote in
his 1978 edition of “The Prophetic Imagination”, “...the task of prophetic (Christian)
ministry is to nurture, nourish and evoke a consciousness and perception
alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture…”
In Brueggemann’s second 2001 edition of this same book, the publicity “blurb”
states: “The prophetic vision not only embraces the pain of the people, but
creates an energy and amazement based on the new thing that God is doing...”

The psalmist claimed these attributes as signs of God’s fidelity “...Unfailing love
and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed...”
; and are
symbols of God the Creator who liberates and saves all God’s faithful people.

Creative pause: Would being named a “prophet” sit comfortably with you?

1 Jeremiah 6: 13-15a (NLT)

2 Text by Professor Walter Brueggemann
from “The Prophetic Imagination” Quoted via “Wikipedia”
© 1978 Augsburg Fortress Publishing House Minneapolis MN 55440, USA.

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:
© 2015 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Used with permission.


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