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
The people refused to enter the pleasant land,
for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
Instead, they grumbled in their tents
and refused to obey the Lord.
Therefore, he solemnly swore
that he would kill them in the wilderness,
that he would scatter their descendants among the nations,
exiling them to distant lands.
Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor;
they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead!
They angered the Lord with all these things,
so a plague broke out among them.
But Phinehas had the courage to intervene,
and the plague was stopped.
So he has been regarded as a righteous man
ever since that time.
At Meribah, too, they angered the Lord,
causing Moses serious trouble.
They made Moses angry,
and he spoke foolishly.
Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land,
as the Lord had commanded them.
Instead, they mingled among the pagans
and adopted their evil customs.
They worshiped their idols,
which led to their downfall.
They even sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons.
They shed innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters.
By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan,
they polluted the land with murder.
They defiled themselves by their evil deeds,
and their love of idols was adultery in the Lord’s sight.
That is why the Lord’s anger burned against his people,
and he abhorred his own special possession.
He handed them over to pagan nations,
and they were ruled by those who hated them.
Their enemies crushed them
and brought them under their cruel power.
Again and again he rescued them,
but they chose to rebel against him,
and they were finally destroyed by their sin.
Even so, he pitied them in their distress
and listened to their cries.
He remembered his covenant with them
and relented because of his unfailing love.
He even caused their captors
to treat them with kindness.
Save us, O Lord our God!
Gather us back from among the nations,
so we can thank your holy name
and rejoice and praise you.
Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who lives from everlasting to everlasting!
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
The Altar for Burning Incense
“Make an altar out of acacia wood for burning incense. Make it square—eighteen inches long and eighteen inches wide—and make it thirty-six inches high. The corners that stick out like horns must be one piece with the altar. Cover its top, its sides, and its corners with pure gold, and put a gold strip all around the altar. Make two gold rings beneath the gold strip on opposite sides of the altar, and slide poles through them to carry the altar. Make the poles from acacia wood and cover them with gold. Put the altar of incense in front of the curtain that is near the Ark of the Agreement, in front of the lid that covers that Ark. There I will meet with you.
“Aaron must burn sweet-smelling incense on the altar every morning when he comes to take care of the oil lamps. He must burn incense again in the evening when he lights the lamps, so incense will burn before the Lord every day from now on. Do not use this altar for offering any other incense, or burnt offering, or any kind of grain offering, or drink offering. Once a year Aaron must make the altar ready for service to God by putting blood on its corners—the blood of the animal offered to remove sins. He is to do this once a year from now on. This altar belongs completely to the Lord’s service.”
The Tax for the Meeting Tent
The Lord said to Moses, “When you count the people of Israel, every person must buy back his life from the Lord so that no terrible things will happen to the people when you number them. Every person who is counted must pay one-fifth of an ounce of silver. (This is set by using one-half of the Holy Place measure, which weighs two-fifths of an ounce.) This amount is a gift to the Lord. Every person who is counted and is twenty years old or older must give this amount to the Lord. A rich person must not give more than one-fifth of an ounce, and a poor person must not give less. You are paying this to the Lord to buy back your lives. Gather from the people of Israel this money paid to buy back their lives, and spend it on things for the service in the Meeting Tent. This payment will remind the Lord that the Israelites’ lives have been bought back.”
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 work of the morning,
For the challenges faced and the obstacles overcome.
Grant that the rest of this day be used for your glory,
As we offer ourselves afresh to you. Amen
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 in Bold – Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved
All other Psalms – Scripture quotations are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
All other Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.