A Call to Worship
Pentecost 16B [Ordinary 24B] or [Proper 19B] 2015
Psalm 19

Called, we come to worship the Lord our God whose glory needs no words.
Committed, we respond with praise to God’s daily wordless proclamations.

Called, we come to revere and delight in God’s nightly declarations of glory.
Committed, we respond to God’s silent announcements through all creation.

Called, we come with joy to celebrate the wonders of God’s-own-Self as seen
and experienced in God’s commandments for right relationships with creation.
Committed, we respond to God’s messages that quietly teach us who and what
is the God whom we - as a community of gathered people - worship and revere.
“...Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known…” Amen.

Psalm 19
For the choir director: A psalm of David.

1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
2 Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
3 They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard
4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
and their words to all the world.

God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.
5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.
It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.
6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end.
Nothing can hide from its heat.

7 The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul.
The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
8 The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living.

9 Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever.
The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair.
10 They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.
11 They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.
14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Prayers of Praise
Pentecost 16B [Ordinary 24B] or [Proper 19B] 2015
Psalm 19

“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation; O my soul, praise him,
for he is your health and salvation. Come all who hear, brothers and sisters
draw near, praise him in glad adoration...”
1 Glorious God, you use many ways
to communicate with all your creatures and we give thanks and praise you for
the wonders of your silent messages; your glad tidings of great joy that never
need any words to express themselves; and yet which makes so much sense to
the discerning ear, eye and mind. We praise you that even the smallest child or
the oldest living person has an understanding of something of the mystery of our
God’s great wisdom that is communicated in the most profound yet simplest ways,
and that anyone living can respond in praise and thanks to the “good news” of God.

“...Praise to the Lord, who in all things is wondrously reigning, and, as on wings
of eagle, uplifting, sustaining: have you not seen all that is needed has been sent
by his gracious ordaining...?”
1 Gracious God, we praise and revere you because
you do not need to explain all of life’s mysteries to us, because you are the Holy
One who is in control of all things, and we gladly leave those holy secrets and God’s
“gracious ordaining” in God’s own loving hands. We pray that God’s decrees and
laws will always provide us with the wisdom that enables us to work in partnership
with our Creating God in caring for and maintaining God’s glorious creation; and that
the wonder of God’s creativity will always inspire people to respect and honour God.

“...Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him! All that has life and breath,
come now with praises before him! Let the Amen sound from his people again:
gladly for ever adore him…”
1 Almighty God, the Source of all life and the Breath of
all creation, may we all respond with loud “Amens” or “so be it, Lord” to the psalmist’s
prayers for help in controlling our “secret sins”; as we all fail in that way, especially
in the care of God’s creation – when we think that our carelessness may not be seen.
May not only the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts, but also all
our actions and motivations be pleasing to you O LORD, Our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 16B [Ordinary 24B] or [Proper 19B] 2015
Psalm 19

The psalmist asks the question: “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?”
This is a challenging question as how much do we really know about what goes
on within our inner and unconscious self; and in the deepest recesses of our mind?
According to the dictionary definitions “sin” has two simple and basic definitions—
it is a transgression against the will and law of God; or against a religious or moral
law through a deliberate or unconscious act or thought. This “transgression” creates
an estrangement or separation from God. A transgression has an “archaic” meaning
of trespassing – being on a person’s property without permission – and transgression
means to step across a defined line or go beyond an acceptable or agreed boundary.
So one definition of “sin” relates to sport when we run or go across a “boundary line”.
As an older version of The Lord’s Prayer has it: “…Forgive us our trespasses…” when
we stray over an agreed line in our relationship with God. Another sporting definition
of “sin” is an archery term when our arrow “misses the mark”; when we fail to meet the
required standards of thought, attitudes or actions – either consciously or unconsciously.

Creative pause: “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?”

The next verse is a prayer: “...Cleanse me from these hidden faults…” When we run
or walk over the “boundary line”, or “trespass” on to another person’s property despite
a “Keep Out” sign; we can usually clearly see our mistake and we usually we try to
rectify that mistake; or if we miss the “bulls eye” in archery, we do more practice.
However, the hidden “boundaries” are often much harder to define, whether they are
self-imposed limits or standards set by law – God’s divine laws; moral laws or “laws
of the land”. God’s gift of the Law to the people of God, clearly defined how to live in
relationships –with God and in communal life; yet even the most trained religious minds
in the time of Jesus had questions about choices and the priorities within God’s Law.
The psalmist prayer to be “cleansed of hidden faults” was very human and relevant.

Creative pause: “...Cleanse me from these hidden faults…”

This prayer continued: “…Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control
Premeditated sin is very different to hidden or accidental sin, and so the psalmist
asked God to assist in restraining the sin-filled thoughts or planned action that could spiral
completely out of control; as the resulting separation between God would be extremely
traumatic. The petitioner knew or anticipated that in one’s own strength, one could not
succeed in that quest on life’s journey to a mature relationship with God. Instead of such
a catastrophic event - the psalmist asked that God, the Unshakable Rock and the Generous
Redeemer would offer special blessings on his actions, words and motives that pleased God.

Creative pause: Meditating and acting on God’s verbal and silent instructions.

1 From “Together in Song” #111
“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation”
Words by Joachim Neander (and others)
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 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:
© 2015 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Used with permission.


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