Psalm 119:137-144 (Jeff’s Version for Today)
You are acting to put things right, O LORD,
and your justice is “on the level”.
You have set out your guidelines for living,
in your acting to put things right and in your utmost faithfulness.
I am speechless in my enthusiasm for your words,
but my detractors have forgotten them.
Your words are well-tested,
and your servant loves them.
I am small and despised,
but I do not forget your firm advice.>
Your acting to put things right is forever just,
and your teaching is reliable.
Distress and hardship have come upon me,
but (still) I delight in your commandments.
Your testimony is forever just;
give me understanding and I will live.
Holy and eternal God,
whose vision for humanity
is justice, peace and wholeness;
by the presence of your Spirit
may our generosity flourish,
and our living
hasten the advent of your vision. Amen
A CREATIVE MOMENT – Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 and Luke 19:1-10
These two readings share a (perhaps) tenuous theme. Not that Zacchaeus appears to have been violent, but he has perpetrated injustice and exampled Habakkuk’s image of how ‘the wicked surround the righteous’. And Zacchaeus’s turnaround, prompted by Jesus’ words and actions, has its parallel in God’s reassurance to Habakkuk that ‘there is still a vision for the appointed time’ – God will deal with it all in God’s time and in God’s way. In the meantime ‘the righteous live by faith’.
Rather than placing posters illustrating ‘violence’ and’ justice’ on different walls, place them on one wall, overlaying the illustrations so that the ‘violence’ largely obscures ‘justice’.
THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
(A prayer to gather the spoken and silent concerns/joys/thanks expressed by the congregation and lead into a more structured Intercession with connection to the lections for the day. Sometimes this prayer borrows lightly from other sources e.g. Uniting in Worship 2 or publications of the Iona Community.)
God whose faithfulness and promise are everlasting,
whose acting to put things right
is not temporary but everlasting:
let your Spirit whisper your faithfulness
to the oppressed and grieving;
to the ‘pushed aside’ and lonely;
and let your Word speak hope to the distressed.
Hear the cry of those who call on your name:
those we have named on our lips,
and in the silence of our hearts;
and those whose troubles are known only to you.
Hear our prayer, in Jesus’ name…
(The Prayers of the People continue)
Looking for contemporary music and song resources?
Try David MacGregor’s Together to Celebrate
Or metrical psalms? Try Dale A. Schoening’s Sing the Psalms
|HYMN SUGGESTIONS FOR SUNDAY 31C
|At the dawning of salvation||TIS 392|
|Come, let us to the Lord our God||TIS 577|
|God of grace and God of glory||TIS 611|
|How firm a foundation, you people of God||TIS 578|
|Jesus calls us! O’er the tumult||TIS 589|
|Lord in the strength of grace||TIS 483|
|Love Divine all loves excelling||TIS 217|
|O Lord, thou art my God and King,||TIS 89|
|Rejoice in God’s saints, today and all days||TIS 470|
|We limit not the truth of God…||TIS 453|
|Where cross the crowded ways of life||TIS 608|
|HABAKKUK 1:1-4, 2:1-42
|All my hope on God is founded||TIS 560|
|The God of Abraham praise||TIS 125|
|How firm a foundation||TIS 578|
|O Jesus, Saviour, grow in me||TIS 575|
|2 THESSALONIANS 1:11-12
|Help us, O Lord, to learn||TIS 428|
|May the mind of Christ, my Saviour||TIS 609|
|Christ’s is the world in which we move||TIS 677|
|God of freedom, Gods of justice||TIS 657|
|Jesus Christ is risen today||TIS 362|
|Lift up your heads, you mighty gates||TIS 267|
|Spirit, divine, attend our prayers||TIS 406|
|Take my life, and let it be||TIS 599|
|There once was a man as mean as could be||TIS 748|