With mystifying power and gentleness, the voice of the Lord calls to us.
A Call to Worship
Epiphany 1A, Jesus' Baptism 2014
We gather to sing “Glory!” to the Lord God, whose holy name is awesome.
With glorious majesty and blessedness, the voice of the Lord calls to us.
We gather in prayer to glorify the Lord God, and to be surprised by God.
With great joy and a warm welcome, the voice of the Lord calls to us, inviting
us to gather to worship and honour the wonders and truth of the Lord our God.
We gather to declare “Glory! Glory!” to the Lord God, whose name and holy
presence inspires our shared worship, as we joyfully honour the God of all gods. Amen.
A psalm of David.
1 Give honour to the LORD, you angels;
give honour to the LORD for his glory and strength.
2 Give honour to the LORD for the glory of his name.
Worship the LORD in the splendour of his holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea.
The God of glory thunders.
The LORD thunders over the mighty sea.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars;
the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon's mountains skip like a calf
and Mount Hermon to leap like a young bull.
7 The voice of the LORD strikes with lightning bolts.
8 The voice of the LORD makes the desert quake;
the LORD shakes the desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare.
In his Temple everyone shouts, "Glory!"
10 The LORD rules over the floodwaters.
The LORD reigns as king forever.
11 The LORD gives his people strength.
The LORD blesses them with peace.
Prayers of Praise
“Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty..., there is none beside you,
Epiphany 1A, Jesus' Baptism 2014
perfect in power, in love and purity; ... all your works shall praise
your name...holy, holy, holy!1 We gather in a shared act of worship,
where we as a group, make our confessions of praise to our God!
We acknowledge that this, our public act of praise, is an important
statement of who we are as God’s beloved and forgiven children.
We celebrate with joy the generosity and graciousness of our God;
and the blessedness of being able to openly and honestly praise
and worship the God who is the “Great Unknown”, as well as the
awesomely “Known God”. In trust, we gather to praise the Holy One.
Hallowed is God’s name! Holy always is the name of the Lord our God.
“...God is in our midst, now in our hearts keep silence, worshipping in
deepest reverence...”2 Together, we come to share the awe-inspiring
reality of God’s presence, and we dare to name the Name of the Lord!
Even as we declare the Name of God, help us to accept with reverent
awareness, that God’s Name describes who and what God is through
all time into all eternity. Yet, by declaring the Name of God, we are also
brought into the presence of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe,
and the Compassionate Lover of our souls. The voice of the Lord God
has indeed brought order out of chaos, and in awed amazement, we
can only exclaim “Glory!” and accept God’s gifts of blessing and peace.
Glorious is God’s name! Holy always is the name of the Lord our God.
“....Give honour to the Lord for the glory of the Lord’s name. Worship
the Lord in the splendour of his holiness... O Lord our God, we dare
to call the Lord God “our” God, when God’s Holy Name is the “Great
Unknown”, and like Moses we ask: “What is God’s name...”3 Eternal
and Ever-Holy God, in awe and reverence we ask again of God: “What
is your name..” so that we may more truly and honestly worship the glory
of the Name of the Lord God. We ask that when we are granted a new
insight into the Being and Nature of God, that with God’s blessing, we
are helped to retain those spiritual insights and moments of clarity; so
that we can recall them - even as we struggle to remember and know
who is the Holy God, we dare in our ignorance to name as “our” God.
Awesome is God’s name! Holy always is the name of the Lord our God. Amen.
A Personal Meditation
I was recently reading an historical novel about a man who had never
Epiphany 1A, Jesus' Baptism 2014
been called by his “given” or christian name, and who from birth had
only ever been called by his honorific title. When he was eventually
called by his given name, for the first time he experienced his own true
and unique identity. I have never understood why my parents chose to
call me by my second name – and one I do not like very much either!
I was recently asked that if I had a personal choice of a given name, what
would I choose? After responding, I was pressured to change my name
by deed-poll; and yet I could not do so, because my plain and simple
name seemed to be the “me” that I really am. So, why do I not like my
own name? Does your given “name” define who and what you really are?
|Creative pause:||Do given/christian names define who and what we are?|
Choosing names for children that complements a surname can be great fun!
However today, there is a never ending list of newly invented names, with
no real meaning to those names. Even though I do not like my own names—
they mean “gift of God”, and “God is gracious”! Maybe my parents had some
unexpected insights into the way God would bless and guide my life. In the
Bible and historically, God had many names in a variety of languages, arising
from experiences of God’s liberating acts and Being. I am very partial to the
title God claimed for God’s own-self as recorded in “The Revelation to John”:
"I am the Alpha and the Omega -- the beginning and the end... I am the one
who is, who always was, and who is still to come, the Almighty One."4 …I am
the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."5
|Creative pause:||What do you consider the most meaningful name/title for God?|
The naming of organisations can also be quite challenging, with the need for
their chosen title to be self-explanatory of the work of that organisation. This is
especially important when existing organisations amalgamate, in the hope of them
better serving the community to which they are committed. Some businesses
depend on a logo or symbol to define who they want to be, or what they plan to be
or to become. I am always fascinates that in the Old Testament, God’s name was
considered too holy to be spoken, and so their leaders finally settled on the title
“the Lord” as a compromise. They also joyfully accepted and interpreted various
symbols of fire and clouds as signs of God’s presence and God’s continued care.
|Creative pause:||What symbols speak to you of the mystery of God’s presence?|
1 From “Together in Song” #132
“Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty..”
Words by Reginald Heber
Words are in the Public Domain
2 From “Together in Song” #121
“God himself is present...”
Trans. by Honor Mary Thwaites
Use with personal permission.
3 Exodus 3: 13-15 (NLT)
4 Revelation 1:8 (NLT)
5 Revelation 22:13 (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.
Download/view a pdf file of this document here: epiphany1a_2014.pdf