In the church calendar the long stretch of time between Pentecost and the beginning of Advent is known as ‘Ordinary Time.’ Inasmuch as we have celebrated the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the subsequent descent of the Holy Spirit; so this time is often seen as representative of the long ‘Church Age’ when the gospel is preached to all creation.
CALL TO WORSHIP
God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
Then they despised the pleasant land;
They did not believe His word,
But complained in their tents,
And did not heed the voice of the Lord.
Therefore He raised His hand in an oath against them,
To overthrow them in the wilderness,
To overthrow their descendants among the nations,
And to scatter them in the lands.
They joined themselves also to Baal of Peor,
And ate sacrifices made to the dead.
Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds,
And the plague broke out among them.
Then Phinehas stood up and intervened,
And the plague was stopped.
And that was accounted to him for righteousness
To all generations forevermore.
They angered Him also at the waters of strife,
So that it went ill with Moses on account of them;
Because they rebelled against His Spirit,
So that he spoke rashly with his lips.
They did not destroy the peoples,
Concerning whom the Lord had commanded them,
But they mingled with the Gentiles
And learned their works;
They served their idols,
Which became a snare to them.
They even sacrificed their sons
And their daughters to demons,
And shed innocent blood,
The blood of their sons and daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with blood.
Thus they were defiled by their own works,
And played the harlot by their own deeds.
Therefore the wrath of the Lord was kindled against His people,
So that He abhorred His own inheritance.
And He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles,
And those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies also oppressed them,
And they were brought into subjection under their hand.
Many times He delivered them;
But they rebelled in their counsel,
And were brought low for their iniquity.
Nevertheless He regarded their affliction,
When He heard their cry;
And for their sake He remembered His covenant,
And relented according to the multitude of His mercies.
He also made them to be pitied
By all those who carried them away captive.
Save us, O Lord our God,
And gather us from among the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the Lord!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
(A short time of worship and thanksgiving, led or spontaneous. Alternatively a devotional song may be played and listened to.)
OLD TESTAMENT READING
Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
and the traitor for the upright.
It is better to live in a desert land
than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling,
but a foolish man devours it.
Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
will find life, righteousness, and honour.
A wise man scales the city of the mighty
and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.
“Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
who acts with arrogant pride.
The desire of the sluggard kills him,
for his hands refuse to labour.
All day long he craves and craves,
but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
A false witness will perish,
but the word of a man who hears will endure.
A wicked man puts on a bold face,
but the upright gives thought to his ways.
No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
can avail against the Lord.
The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but the victory belongs to the Lord.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Pause for Reflection……
(Take a moment to bring to God any issues that have arisen during the morning. You may like to end with the following prayer…)
Lord Jesus we thank you for the many blessings of this day,
Give us eyes to see the path ahead,
And faith to reach towards the prize. Amen
(If these prayers are taking place before food, you may like to say the Grace here also.)
Lord God, we thank you for your gift to us of this food;
Produce of earth, sky, many living beings, and much hard work.
May we eat with prayerfulness, gratitude and moderation;
With renewed minds and spirit-controlled appetites.
May we eat with compassion for those who hunger today,
And in such a way that reduces the suffering of all creatures;
Healing and preserving our precious planet.
Use this food to strengthen our bodies, revive our spirits,
Nurture our family and nourish our resolve;
That we may continue to serve all that lives with all our life. Amen
Psalms taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Scripture taken from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.