A Call to Worship
Pentecost 17B [Ordinary 25B] or [Proper 20B] 2015
Psalm 1

Attentive God, we come together to share in the great joy of praising our God.
We come in response to God’s offer to teach how us to live within God’s word.

Accompanying God, we come together to worship the God who walks with us.
We come in response to God’s presence beside us showing us the way to life.

Faithful God, we come together at your invitation to delight in the decrees of God
which give us guidance as we journey in faith and hope towards our home in God.
We come in response to God’s gift to us of a life-long blessedness, as we reflect
on all we have learned from God about living within a commitment to worship God. Amen.

Psalm 1

1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow
the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the LORD,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

4 But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.

6 For the LORD watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Prayers of Thankfulness
Pentecost 17B [Ordinary 25B] or [Proper 20B] 2015
Psalm 1

With a deep sense of thankfulness for God’s blessings and guidance,
we come together to share in the great joy of praising our God. We come
too, in response to God’s offer to us to help us live according to God’s
teachings, as they provide us with the guidance about living a life fully
committed to God and godly ways. We give thanks that although we live
in a world where there are many opportunities to take the easy way in life,
with evil made to appear very attractive; we have been blessed to be
given the opportunity to choose to live a productive and fruitful life based
on God’s decrees and commands that give directions for committed living.
All thanks and praise to you, God of grace and mercy; of hope and trust.

With a deep sense of thankfulness for God’s blessings, we come together
to worship the God who walks every step of life’s journey with us; and whose
presence beside us makes possible a life lived in communion with God and
with all God’s creation. Throughout our life, you have been present with us as
Protector and Friend, our Guard and Guide, and the Source of all that is good
and pure – and teaching us to value these qualities as examples for our daily
living. All thanks and praise to you, God Most High and forever the same God.

With a deep sense of thankfulness for God’s blessings, we come to give thanks
and to delight together in the commandments of God that gift us with the life-long
blessedness of being God’s child. We give thanks that we have been called to
holy living, and for being challenged over our choices of priorities in life; and we
give thanks that even though we have been tempted to reject God’s way, we
are so very grateful that God’s nurturing care of us has given us the strength to
reject that pathway in life. All thanks and praise to you, Generous and Loving God. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 17B [Ordinary 25B] or [Proper 20B] 2015
Psalm 1

Professor Brueggemann introduced Psalm 1 thus: “...The psalm artistically
presses the defining questions of life. To what is one devoted in life? How
does one move forward in hope? What gives the most basic direction in life?
With vivid poetic imagery, the poem invites readers to give attention to YHWY’s
teaching and instruction in the Psalms, in all of Scripture, and in God’s continuing
presence and activity... The most basic decision to follow God’s direction makes
it possible to be rooted, grounded and fruitful... The psalm’s hope is that readers
and hearer’s will choose life in connection with God and God’s Torah, and so
embrace life’s fruitful possibilities...”
1 The common name of a tree grown along
Australian rivers and inland water courses is the “River Red Gum”, a species
of “Eucalyptus”. This long-lived iconic tree grows up to 50 metres high with huge
canopies that provides shelter in the intense heat of inland Australia; and their
long roots stabilises river banks. The so-called “fruit” of this tree is the wildlife that
makes its home in its trunks and the stumps where large branches have fallen.
Propagation is often linked to inland floods that can take many months to dissipate.

Creative pause: “...trees planted along the riverbank... their leaves never wither.”

Brueggemann continues: “Psalm 1 as a preamble to the Psalter urges a lifestyle
that finds its source in the Creator. The psalm speaks of life as a path or way, and
of divine instruction as nourishment for the way... Much of its instruction is on prayer,
a central aspect of the path of faith. The psalms that follow will portray prayer as the
honest dialogue of faith carried on in the community that worships God...”
1 In the
well known Psalm 23 we read: “He renews my strength. He guides me along right
and as part of Jesus’ “I AM” statements, he said: “I am the way, the truth,
and the life…”
2 and Jesus’ followers were described as being “people of the Way”.
Psalm 1 introduces readers to “the path” or “the way” and anyone who follows on that
journey has deep “joy” and “delight” and “fruitfulness” from following God’s instructions.

Creative pause: “Delight” and “joy” are the fruits borne from following God’s “way”.

It has been pruning time in my garden, with the annual shedding of excess growth from
trees, shrubs and bushes, to enable new and stronger growth to develop. The “fruits”
that grow from these various plants in my large garden are not edible, but they certainly
nurture and feed my soul with the beauty of their flowers! I give thanks to God for the
privilege of working in partnership with the Holy Creator, thereby bringing joy to others.

Creative pause: Pruning in preparation for “fruitfulness”.

1 Text by Professor Walter Brueggemann
& William H Bellinger Junior
from “Psalms” - Psalm 1, pages 30/31
© 2014 Cambridge University Press

2 John 14:6 (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:
© 2015 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Used with permission.


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