A Call to Worship
Pentecost 9A [Ordinary 19A] or [Proper 14A] 2014
Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b

Come, you people of God, praise the Lord our God with thankful hearts.
We do indeed give our sincere thanks for God’s covenant love and mercy.

Come, you people of God, let the whole world know what God has done.
We want to share with others our own experiences of God’s gracious care.

Come, you people of God; come, you descendants of God’s faithful people:
celebrate the good news of God’s long term plan for all God has created.
We offer our thanks, praise and reverence to God, whose creating love and
generosity has blessed us all our lives, and we trust the future to God’s will. Amen.

Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b

1 Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.
2 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his miracles.
3 Exult in his holy name; O worshipers of the LORD, rejoice!
4 Search for the LORD and for his strength, and keep on searching.
5 Think of the wonderful works he has done,
the miracles and the judgments he handed down,
6 O children of Abraham, God's servant,
O descendants of Jacob, God's chosen one.

16 He called for a famine on the land of Canaan,
cutting off its food supply.
17 Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them –
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 There in prison, they bruised his feet with fetters
and placed his neck in an iron collar.
19 Until the time came to fulfil his word,
the LORD tested Joseph's character.
20 Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free;
the ruler of the nation opened his prison door.
21 Joseph was put in charge of all the king's household;
he became ruler over all the king's possessions.
22 He could instruct the king's aides
as he pleased and teach the king's advisers.

45b Praise the LORD!

Prayers of Confession and Trust
Pentecost 9A [Ordinary 19A] or [Proper 14A] 2014
Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b

We come to worship the God of Creating Love, the God whose plans and
purposes for all creation are justice, peace and goodwill amongst all people.
We give thanks that we are the recipients of that Creating Love that is given
so freely, even to undeserving humanity. Yet, Generous God, we also need
to confess that we have not deserved that love or that generosity. We have
gone our own way and made our own plans for the future without any thought
of God’s plans and purposes, which may be very different to ours. Just as God’s
servant Joseph was a victim of his brother’s manipulation, we confess that we
too have manipulated situations to suit ourselves, without asking God’s help or
guidance. Guide and bless us we pray as we seek to serve you, and “Help us,
O Lord, to learn the truths your word imparts…”
and “be inscribed upon our hearts.”1

We come to worship the God of Creating Mercy, whose covenantal love never
fails, and who encourages us to walk the path of obedience and trust. We have
been called to share the good news of all that with which God has so graciously
blessed us, and to tell of God’s mercy and forgiveness when we come to God in
regret and remorse to own up to our failures and sin. We so often claim that we
are people of integrity and honour, but we do not always live according to our own
image. Restore us to obedient faithfulness. “Help us, O Lord, to live the faith which
we proclaim, that all our thoughts and words and deeds may glorify your name…”

We come to worship the God of Creating Generosity, whose daily blessings are
poured over us and whose never-failing love revives our weak and faltering love;
whose strength empowers us to serve God; and whose blessings enables us to
be a blessing to others. Forgive us when we clutch our blessings to ourselves—
rather than sharing them with people who are so in need of them. “Help us, O Lord,
to teach the beauty of your ways, that all who seek may…and live a life of praise…”
1 Amen.

Declaration of Forgiveness:
Hear God’s good news: “...You shall go with joy and be led forth in peace...”2

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 9A [Ordinary 19A] or [Proper 14A] 2014
Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b

The Psalms could be described as a commentary of the religious life and
the experiences of the authors in a historical sense; or the experiences
of a person whose life and faith was recorded and sung to teach and/or
inspire; but mostly, the Psalms were the shared “voice” of a community.
People are able to relate to the Psalms in each of these ways, but their
emphases will always be on moving forward towards the realisation of
one’s dependency on God’s goodness and mercy. When we call on God
for help, the supplicant will need to be prepared to accept and live with
change; and the acceptance of one’s reliance on God’s guidance and help.

Creative pause: How do the Psalms “speak” or inspire you?

I have always loved the Old Testament stories of those patriarchs and
matriarchs who, although very fallible human beings, helped to fulfil God’s
covenantal love and plans for God’s chosen people. In Psalm 105, those
ancient acts of God’s grace were given a rather glossy image, so that in
spite of the evil of humanity and the added gloss, God’s eternal purposes
were still fulfilled, and often in the most amazing of ways. In that Psalm,
there is no mention of Joseph’s despair at his sale into slavery by his own
brothers because of their jealousy; his time in prison and the suffering he
endured there; and all the treachery of his warders and governing officials.
Yet, all these painful experiences that are recorded in this Psalm as being
all part of God’s long-term plan for God’s chosen people, with all it working
out miraculously in the end for their own good, and according to God’s will.

Creative pause: What sort of “spin” do you place on these ancient stories?

If any of us were invited to write a psalm of thankfulness for God’s guidance
and blessings since the post-biblical days, how would we write that story?
Would we have the courage, faith and trust in God’s guidance to be able to
affirm God’s will and purposes of history, as it is described in “The Letter to
the Hebrews”?
That unknown writer using sublime language, defined for us
all what was faith in God. The question: “...What is faith?” The answer: “It is
the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the
evidence of things we cannot yet see. God gave his approval to people in
days of old because of their faith…”
3 The author then described the story of
God’s faithful people as: “It was by faith…”4 Those people had a deep faith
and conviction in God’s purposes. “…these people received God's approval
because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised.

Creative pause: “Faith... is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.”3

1 From “Together in Song” #428
“Help us, O Lord, to learn”
© 1959, renewal 1987
Words by William Watkins Reid Jr.
Used with Permission,
Word of Life International Licence #2425

2 From “Together in Song” # 755
“You shall go out with joy”
Words by Steffi Guiser Rubin 1950-
Based on Isaiah 55: 12
Used with Permission,
Word of Life International Licence #2425

3 Hebrews 11: 1-2, (NLT)
4 Hebrews 11: 4a, (NLT)
5 Hebrews 11: 39 (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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