A Call to Worship
Jesus' Transfiguration, Year A 2014
Psalm 99

Glorious God, your Name is holy! God’s holiness
is expressed throughout the whole Being of God!
God’s holiness is radically different to anything else—
completely unlike anything any human ever knew!

Justice-loving and Justice-giving God, we exalt
the Lord God, whose every manifestation is holy!
God’s holy justice is radically different in all its ways—
and very different from our so-called human justice!

All-powerful God, you are supreme holiness itself—
as can only be shown in God’s all-glorious might
and majesty! Compared to anything God ever created
the holiness of God is totally beyond any description.
God’s almighty holiness is so very radically different—
and absolutely remote from our human knowledge and
understanding of power, and how it should be used!
God’s holiness is unquestionably beyond everything! Amen.

Psalm 99

1 The LORD is king! Let the nations tremble!
He sits on his throne between the cherubim. Let the whole earth quake!
2 The LORD sits in majesty in Jerusalem, supreme above all the nations.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name.
Your name is holy!

4 Mighty king, lover of justice, you have established fairness.
You have acted with justice and righteousness throughout Israel.
5 Exalt the LORD our God! Bow low before his feet, for he is holy!

6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests;
Samuel also called on his name.
They cried to the LORD for help, and he answered them.
7 He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud,
and they followed the decrees and principles he gave them.
8 O LORD our God, you answered them.
You were a forgiving God, but you punished them when they went wrong.

9 Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain in Jerusalem,
for the LORD our God is holy!

Prayers of Praise
Jesus' Transfiguration, Year A 2014
Psalm 99

“The Lord is king!” sang the Psalmist – what a revelation indeed!
“The Lord’s name is holy ... supreme above all the nations...” “Let
them praise your great and awesome name...”
they sang in response!
So we offer our praises, giving honour, glory and awed reverence—
Holy God, the Holiest in the heights of heaven and in the depths
of the earth. Holy God, there is no language or expression that is
sufficient for us to sing our praises to you as we would like; there
is not enough breath within us to tell of the wonders of your holiness;
there are not enough thoughts or feelings to praise the unimaginable
Being of God; and the most brilliant light we know of is nothing to the
dazzling light of the holiness of God. And so we offer our restricted
wisdom, our fragile emotions and faltering attention to the ultimate
holiness that is the God we worship, as we seek to sing and pray:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty!”1 God’s glory fills all the earth!

We gather together to worship the Holy God, whose presence fills us
with awe and wonder. In ancient times, your people created a place
where they knew that God was always present, and carried it around
with them on the long trek through the wilderness. How comforting and
especially holy that sacred presence was to them. There on the “Ark
of the Covenant”, was the invisible presence of God who led them on,
with God’s special signs guiding them on their way. May we, like those
ancient people, honour, revere and worship God’s awesome presence.
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty!”1 God’s glory fills the heavens!

In humility, we come to bow in wonder before the Lord of the heavens
and the earth, who was the King of all creation since before time began!
The Lord God Almighty said: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my
footstool… My hands have made both heaven and earth, and they are
mine. I, the Lord, have spoken…!”
2 We give thanks that through the lives
and powerful witnessing of the ancient patriarchs and matriarchs, the
truth of God’s creative holiness has been experienced by God’s people
throughout the ages. We praise and glorify our Wondrous God who is also
the Holy God of all justice and truth; whose power and will has ensured that
justice is an essential truth for all people committed to God, the Holy One.
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty!”1 God’s glory fills all of creation! Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Jesus' Transfiguration, Year A 2014
Psalm 99

When the people of Israel finally reached the border of their Promised Land,
the Ark of the Covenant was carried over the Jordan River with reverent awe
to honour God’s arrival to their new home; because there, invisibly seated on
the Mercy Seat between the two cherubim, was the presence of the Living God.
When “Solomon’s Temple” in Jerusalem was completed, in the understanding
of God’s people, they all celebrated together because God now had a proper
and permanent “home”. People could go there to worship God as often as they
chose, knowing that God’s holy presence was always there. There they could
know and experience the joy and wonder of God’s holiness; and there worship
and adore the God of their forebears, who had rescued and sustained them
many centuries earlier, and who continued to sustain them by God’s holiness.

Creative pause: God’s people celebrating God’s Holiness in worship and song!

Our Psalm reminds us that God is the Eternal King, who inspires awe in people.
Some people discover their own identity and heritage through of their forebear’s
allegiance to their nation’s royal family, which in turn, influences their national
identity. But not everyone seeks to have a “royal” involvement to determine who
they are as an individual person or citizen. But one’s heritage can take other forms.
I, along with many other people, have explored the towns and buildings significant
to my spiritual and denominational heritage, including many of the sites in England
where the Wesleyan heritage continues to be honoured. I also visited the site of
the World Methodist Council offices and memorials in Lake Junaluska, in North
Carolina, in the USA – how enthralling and inspiring that was! Another wonderful
experience was visiting the site of my Reformed Church heritage, where Geneva’s
significant role in the Protestant Reformation is recognised by the Reformation Wall.

Creative pause: God’s holiness is the source of our spiritual heritage.

Each generation of God’s people discovered God’s holiness in experiences and
ways for themselves, and they were uniquely their own discoveries. Whilst those
significant places are very special to me – where do I most know and experience
God’s holy presence? Within my own sacred space in my own home church, where
in reverent awe, I can be there with many of my companions on our shared faith
journey, and know that God’s holy presence is always there with us. But not only
there – I am and have been blessed to discover God’s holy presence in different
places and with many other different people; all of which have enriched, inspired,
empowered, and sustained me, in the often very difficult challenges of daily life.

Creative pause: Where and with whom do you most experience God’s holiness?

1 Isaiah 6: 3a (NLT)
2 Isaiah 66: 1a & 2a (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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