A Call to Worship
After Epiphany 5C - Jesus' Transfiguration Year C, 2016
Psalm 99

“The Lord is King!” The Lord rules over all creation with justice and mercy.
We come to worship God, whose majesty is expressed in God’s justice.

“The Lord is King!” The Lord, the Holy One is a lover of justice and equity.
We come to praise God, whose love of justice is expressed in God’s grace.

“The Lord is King!” The Lord reigns over the sacred sanctuary; and we bow
down in humble worship at the footstool of God’s Mercy Seat of true justice.
We come to celebrate God’s holy reign as the Eternal King with awed songs
and prayers of praise for God’s justice, mercy and grace - as we revere God. 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,
exalted 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 Israel from the pillar of cloud, and they followed
the laws and decrees he gave them.

8 O LORD our God, you answered them.
You were a forgiving God to them,
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
After Epiphany 5C - Jesus' Transfiguration Year C, 2016
Psalm 99

“Praise, my soul, the king of heaven; to his feet your tribute bring; ransomed, healed,
restored, forgiven, who like me his praise should sing? Praise him, praise him, hallelujah,
praise the everlasting king!”
1 We come to sing our awed praises to the King of kings,
who rules over all creation with justice and mercy; and we bear witness to the way God
shows that particular gift of gracious justice and mercy to us through God’s compassionate
and holy majesty. The Lord, the Holy One is the complete definition of justice and mercy;
and God’s majesty is the primary example of holiness and righteousness. The nations of
this world are constantly reminded of God’s presence through the glory of creation and
through Gods actions upon faithful people; so in awed reverence we offer God our praises.

“Praise him for his grace and favour to his people in distress; praise him still the same
forever, slow to chide, and swift to bless: praise him, praise him, hallelujah, glorious in his
1 Today, we come to praise God, the Generous One whose love of justice
is expressed in and through God’s grace towards erring and sinful humanity. As our Creator
and Heavenly Father, there can be no surprises for God at our frequent failures; and yet
God so gently and lovingly welcomes back all confessing humanity who know themselves
in the light of God’s eternal holiness. We praise and thank God for these glimpses we have
of God’s presence; of God’s holiness and forgiving mercy; and of God’s love of holy justice.

“The Lord is King” - and so we come together to praise the eternal and unchanging God
who reigns forever over the sacred sanctuary - wherever that may be for each one of us!
As we come to our own sacred space where we name, acknowledge and worship God’s
holy presence, we do so in humility and thankfulness. We are not worthy so much as to
raise our eyes in God’s presence; and yet the miracle of God’s grace is that God is there
to welcome us and bless us! And so we come to celebrate God’s holy reign as the Eternal
King, with awed songs and prayers of praise for God’s justice, mercy and grace that is
revealed to us as we truly worship the Holy One. “Praise him, praise him, hallelujah,
praise the Everlasting King... who is glorious in his faithfulness ...as the “God of grace!”
1 Amen.

A Personal Meditation
After Epiphany 5C - Jesus' Transfiguration Year C, 2016
Psalm 99

Psalm 99 continues the “enthronement” theme of Psalms 93-100 where God’s reign
as the Eternal King is celebrated by God’s faithful people. The psalm includes the
usual statements that “The Lord is King!”; the people respond with praises to God’s
majesty and creating powers; and how Jerusalem is central to the honouring and
reverence offered to and for God. Previously, I have written extensively about the
unknowable holiness of God, as the psalm correctly states of God: “...Your name
is holy...!”
but Psalm 99 adds a new theme to this continuing song of praise, and that
is of God’s justice; and its author cites references to past actions by God to show that
leadership and earthly power means nothing when compared to God’s justice: “...Mighty
King, lover of justice, you have established fairness. You have acted with justice and
righteousness throughout Israel...”
We so easily talk about justice - but what is “justice”?
Various dictionaries describe ‘justice’ as: A moral principle that determines our words,
attitudes and actions to ensure that all people are treated with a lack of bias or prejudice;
a refusal to manipulate people in order to attain specific personal aims or goals; and a
determination which reflects our desire to comply with genuine respect for individuals
and their “right” to fair and lawful treatment. Can you improve this definition of “justice”?

Creative pause: How would you define ‘justice’ as you live it each day?

The psalmist dared to name the names of Moses, Aaron and Samuel as examples of
people who heard God’s voice and responded on behalf of their people; and who “cried
to the LORD for help, and....O LORD our God, you answered them...”;
and God’s calling
of these men enabled them to intercede to God on behalf of their people. Psalm 99 speaks
of a God who is in relationship with people. Professor Walter Brueggemann writes on this:
“..The Hebrew notion of holiness has to do with being set apart. YHWH is set apart in the
sense of being incomparable, different, unlike any other. This God is not set apart from the
world, but set apart to the world.... in turn, ancient Israel is called to be holy or set apart to
YHWH...the notion of holiness as a relational stance in characterising King YHWH as the
one who establishes justice in the community....The psalm calls the community to embrace
life with YHWH as king and thus to find ways in daily life to embody justice and integrity in
all aspects of community life...”
2 As God’s people we are “set apart” to God, so we are to
be in relationship with people embodying in all that we are and do - with justice and integrity.

Creative pause: Does living ‘justly’ also mean being in relationship with people?

The ancient question of Micah “...What can we bring to the LORD?...” and God’s response:
“...No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God...”
3 Micah gives us the
three steps to living in relationship with God; and to living with justice and integrity wherever
our community life takes us; and living and ‘being’ amongst the people of that community.

Creative pause: Are these the three steps to a fulfilling life?

1 From “Together in Song” #134
“Praise, my soul, the king of heaven”
Words by Henry Francis Lyte 1793-1847 (alt)
Words in the Public Domain

2 Text by Professor Walter Brueggemann
& William H Bellinger Junior from “Psalms” Psalm 99, page 425
© 2014 Cambridge University Press

3 Micah 6: 6a, 8 (NLT)

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:
© 2016 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.


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