A Call to Worship
Pentecost 8C [Ordinary 15C] or [Proper 10C] 2013
Psalm 82

God of wisdom, we come together to worship, praise and bless you.
Teach us that our God’s wisdom is pure and holy, upright and honest.

God of integrity and truth, we come together to honour and revere you.
Teach us that our God’s integrity is pure and holy, and above reproach.

God of justice, we come to learn from God’s compassion and care.
Teach us that God seeks justice for all people – justice and fairness—
that flows like a mighty river, that renews and revives all people - in love.
Praise and blessings be to God’s just and holy name, forever and forever. Amen

Prayers of Confession and Petition
Pentecost 8C [Ordinary 15C] or [Proper 10C] 2013
Psalm 82

Holy God, we come this day to confess to you our sins of omission and
commission. We have failed in so many ways to be your reliable witness
here within our gathered community of faith, and also within our own local
cmmunity and neighbourhood. We come to our holy and compassionate
God who knows all our secrets, who understands our fears, and who listens
to our faltering prayers of regret and remorse, and who offers us pardon.

All-knowing God, however beautiful and good God’s world is, and how
wonderful is God’s creation; somehow, there seems to be a dark cloud
of evil hanging over our community, our nation, and over our world; as
the powers of greed, wilful blindness and selfishness seems to dominate
the minds and hearts of our elected leaders; our business magnates; our
media tycoons; and our self-elected spokespersons for any entrepreneur
out to make a profit from the misery and suffering of vulnerable people.
Just as the Psalmist pleaded with God to “Rise up, O God, and judge the
earth, for all the nations belong to you....”,
help us to leave judgement to
God; and guide us, as we seek to let in the light of your love and mercy
into this our shadowed world; and forgive us when we have failed to be, or
do acts of mercy, generosity, and simple kindness - in the name of God.

Grace-giving God, forgive and renew us, and enable us to be more truly
a sign and symbol of your justice, mercy and peace. Help us to accept
your forgiveness and mercy; and help us to forgive our neighbours, our
fellow pilgrims within our own and other faith communities; and to forgive
ourselves, as we seek to live a life of integrity, compassion and caring.
Hear us, O God, as we confess our sin, and help us all to remember that
compassion and forgiveness are integral parts of the Being of God, whose
gracious mercy and love is never-ending, even in the face of our rebellion
against God’s ways. We give thanks that we worship a God who is utter
generosity, tenderness and compassion; and who is slow to anger, and
overwhelmingly rich in mercy, amazing grace and gentle forgiveness. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 8C [Ordinary 15C] or [Proper 10C] 2013
Psalm 82

There is a hymn that I dearly love, whose words were created by
John W. Kleinig, an Australian Lutheran pastor and teacher whose
repeated words: “Because we bear your name….”1refer to Jesus—
but in the light of Psalm 82 and its mysterious concepts of the Holy
and Righteous God as Judge over the lesser gods of the earth and
the heavens - to me these words also relate to our God; because as
one of God’s beloved children, I do “bear God’s name” in whatever
I do and say, each and every day. Pastor Kleinig prays:1 “Let nothing
that we do or say offend the weak so that they fall and lose their
faith in you - because we bear your name…”
This is also my prayer!

Creative pause: May I not do or say anything to offend the weak.

This Psalm paints a picture of the results of intolerable neglect, poverty
and distress that I have seen in my travels, when a sense of helplessness
was overpowering in the face of such vulnerability to disease and poverty.
Yet, what did I do? It is so easy to use helplessness as an excuse for doing
nothing! But, there before me was evidence of indifference or appalling
apathy, and the willful avoidance of responsibility by leaders. But, despite
the years of speaking and writing about these issues, and apart from some
level of consciousness raising, I doubt that I have made any improvements
in any of those sad situations that I saw and experienced! As Pastor Kleinig
prays: “You are the salt that cleanses us, so clean us out, and make us fit for
common life with you - because we bear your name…”
1 May I, and leaders
in positions of power indeed be cleansed of this futile sense of helplessness!

Creative pause: A sense of helplessness is really no excuse!

Is the desire for change enough, when faced by such a dominating cloud of
evil that appears as if it is hovering over the whole creation? The wise prophet
Amos had quite a bit to say about similar situations, as is foreshadowed in the
Psalm. “.........How terrible it will be for you who say, ‘If only the day of the Lord
were here! For then the Lord would rescue us from all our enemies.’ But you
have no idea what you are wishing for. That day will not bring light and prosperity,
but darkness and disaster. In that day you will be like a man who runs from a
lion - only to meet a bear. After escaping the bear, he leans his hand against
a wall in his house - and is bitten by a snake.”
2 So what are you and I to do to
change anything? Again, Amos speaks God’s message of truth: “...Do what is
good and run from evil - that you may live! Then the Lord God Almighty will truly
be your helper, just as you have claimed he is. Hate evil and love what is good...”

Creative pause: “Do what is good and run from evil - that you may live...! 3

1 This Meditation is based in part on a hymn
from “Together in Song” #686—
“Lord Jesus, we belong to you…”
©1985 Words by John W Kleinig
Used with Permission,
LicenSing License #604543

2 Amos 5: 18-19 (NLT)

3 Amos 5:14-15a (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.

*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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