A Call to Worship
Day of Pentecost, Year B 2018
Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b

We come to acclaim our God: “…May the glory of the LORD continue forever...”
“…Praise now the LORD, it’s good to raise our hearts and voices in his praise...”1

We come to bring our praises in response to God’s call to “Praise your God...”
We praise God’s “…nature and his work invite, to make this duty our delight... ”1

We come to worship God in response to God’s Self-disclosure throughout all creation.
We come in reverent awe because we want to: “…sing to the LORD, exalt him high…1
Together we say: “…I will sing to the LORD as long as I live…to my last breath...”! Amen.

Psalm 104: 24-34, 35B

24 O LORD, what a variety of things you have made!
In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the ocean, vast and wide, teeming with life
of every kind, both large and small.
26 See the ships sailing along, and Leviathan,
which you made to play in the sea.
27 They all depend on you to give them food as they need it.
28 When you supply it, they gather it.
You open your hand to feed them, and they are richly satisfied.

29 But if you turn away from them, they panic.
When you take away their breath, they die and turn again to dust.
30 When you give them your breath, life is created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
31 May the glory of the LORD continue forever!
The LORD takes pleasure in all he has made!

32 The earth trembles at his glance;
the mountains smoke at his touch.
33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live.
I will praise my God to my last breath!
34 May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the LORD.

35b Let all that I am praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!

Prayers of Praise
Day of Pentecost, Year B 2018
Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b

On this special day of God’s self-revelation and the gift of God’s Creative Spirit—
we come together to acclaim our God and sing: “…May the glory of the LORD
continue forever…”
We come together within the fellowship of believers to celebrate
and joyfully sing: “…Praise now the LORD, it’s good to raise our hearts and voices
in his praise...”
1 because the LORD our God is so utterly worthy of our praises. We
praise and thank God that we have not been left to our own devises, but that God
invites us to join with all the saints and the heavenly hosts in expressing our thanks
as we acclaim God’s Creative Spirit – active and effective amongst as we worship.

In response to God’s call to: “Praise your God...” we come together to do just that!
Whilst praising God may be an expectation and duty for people committed to God—
it is also our joy and delight to offer our praises, to pray our praises! We promised
to daily live out our praises of God - as we faithfully seek to worship and actively
proclaim and share the breath of life with which God has so graciously blessed us;
and with all that God has created. We also praise God because not only have we
been given the breath of life; we have also been given the breath of love that invites
us into a closer intimacy with God that enriches and blesses us.. With songs of praise
in our hearts and minds we joyfully celebrate that our God “…views his children with
delight, he sees their hope, he knows their fear, and looks and loves his image there…”

We come to praise and worship God in response to the amazing miracle of God’s
self-disclosure through creation; and that God has trusted us enough to share with
us some of the awe-inspiring majesty and creativity of God’s-Own-Self through the
diversity of creation. Not only do we now share in God’s majesty, we also share in
God’s delight and pleasure in the glories of God’s creation. The multi-faceted nature
of our glorious God is: “…eternal and yet ever new, uncomprehended and unbought,
beyond all knowledge and all thought..!”
2 In reverent awe and with joy-filled minds
and hearts, we say: “…I will sing to the LORD as long as I live…to my last breath...”! Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Day of Pentecost, Year B 2018
Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b

History tells us that from the beginning of recorded time, that humanity has had
some understanding of ‘self’ as an identity that is unique from all other forms of
God’s creative activities. Humanity has also had a vague notion, a belief or a
concept that there is also an “Other” or many “others” - who are beyond human
understanding, but who are superior, beyond and above humankind. Humanity
has often responded to that “Other” or “others” with acts of devotion, duty or fealty,
through acts of prayer, sacrifice, violence or self harm; and with gifts to show their
loyalty and faithfulness to that “Other” or “others”; as they try to appease or please.

Creative pause: The ever-continuing evolvement of worship of our Creating God.

The Australian Aborigines are believed to have inhabited this land at least 40,000 years
ago, and they had always had their own religious practices and beliefs associated with
what they refer to as the “Dreamtime”; with their own explanations, both complex and
simple, to describe the creation of the universe; and especially this planet. In comparison,
the poetry of the Psalms and especially the “creation” Psalms are quite modern - as
having first been sung around 1,000 BCE. However humanity’s belief concepts have
evolved, the Creator of the universe has always been recognised as having a religious
context that is central to its recognition and in taking pleasure in its beauty and diversity.
Psalm 104 is believed to be an adaptation of an earlier and ancient religious practice—
probably addressed to the ‘fertility god’; and the psalmist has taken it and recreated it as
a song of praise to the “LORD”. The psalmist’s understanding of God is expressed using
human attributes, as the mystery of God’s-Own-Self was above and beyond anything
even the most articulate of all the psalmist could develop or create to offer to the LORD.

Creative pause: The marvels and mysteries of God’s creativity!

Reverent awe, the awed wonder and the awed fear are quite evident in Psalm 104,
and those same feelings are still relevant! The fear of the unknown, the unpredictable,
the random and yet the unsurprising elements in God’s creation can spark our own
uncertainties. Scientists tell us when the next eclipse will occur and who it will affect;
but not when the next earthquake or volcanic eruptions will occur; the tides are timed
to the minute, but not the next avalanche; the weather forecasters predict weather
patterns – and sometimes they are correct. The seasons come and go at similar times
each year, but so many events in the natural world seem to us to be random. The
Psalmist assures us that “…The LORD takes pleasure in all he has made…”; and as
these are all expressions of the Being and Nature of God that is revealed to us each
day and night – it is good that God finds delight in God’s own gifts of creativity. The
most important thing in our spiritual journey is how we respond to that diversity, that
creativity, and that awe-inspiring self-expression of God! The psalmist prompts us
with the words we are unable to find: “…May the glory of the LORD continue forever! …
I will sing to the LORD as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath! May all
my thoughts be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD. Let all that I am praise the LORD…”

Creative pause: “…The LORD takes pleasure in all he has made…”

1 From “Together in Song” #91
“Praise now the LORD, it’s good to raise”
Words by Isaac Watts
Words in the Public Domain

2 From “Together in Song” #139
“O love of God, how strong and true”
Words by Horatius Bonar
Words in the Public Domain

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 help and inspiration so frequently available from the writings of Professor Walter Brueggemann and Professorial brothers Rolf and Karl Jacobson; and the resources from "The Text this Week" (Textweek).

If the Prayers and/or Meditation are used in shared worship, please provide this acknowledgement:
© 2018 Joan Stott –‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Based on verses from Psalm 104.
Used with permission.


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