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 to 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.
All glory to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As it has been from the beginning, is today and forever! Amen
A psalm of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush of the tribe of Benjamin.
I come to you for protection, O Lord my God.
Save me from my persecutors—rescue me!
If you don’t, they will maul me like a lion,
tearing me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
O Lord my God, if I have done wrong
or am guilty of injustice,
if I have betrayed a friend
or plundered my enemy without cause,
then let my enemies capture me.
Let them trample me into the ground
and drag my honor in the dust. Interlude
Arise, O Lord, in anger!
Stand up against the fury of my enemies!
Wake up, my God, and bring justice!
Gather the nations before you.
Rule over them from on high.
The Lord judges the nations.
Declare me righteous, O Lord,
for I am innocent, O Most High!
End the evil of those who are wicked,
and defend the righteous.
For you look deep within the mind and heart,
O righteous God.
God is my shield,
saving those whose hearts are true and right.
God is an honest judge.
He is angry with the wicked every day.
If a person does not repent,
God will sharpen his sword;
he will bend and string his bow.
He will prepare his deadly weapons
and shoot his flaming arrows.
The wicked conceive evil;
they are pregnant with trouble
and give birth to lies.
They dig a deep pit to trap others,
then fall into it themselves.
The trouble they make for others backfires on them.
The violence they plan falls on their own heads.
I will thank the Lord because he is just;
I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.
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
Clothes for the Priests
They used blue, purple, and red thread to make woven clothes for the priests to wear when they served in the Holy Place. They made the holy clothes for Aaron as the Lord had commanded Moses.
They made the holy vest of gold, and blue, purple, and red thread, and fine linen. They hammered the gold into sheets and then cut it into long, thin strips. They worked the gold into the blue, purple, and red thread, and fine linen. This was done by skilled craftsmen. They made the shoulder straps for the holy vest, which were attached to the top corners of the vest and tied together over each shoulder. The skillfully woven belt was made in the same way; it was joined to the holy vest as one piece. It was made of gold, and blue, purple, and red thread, and fine linen, the way the Lord commanded Moses.
They put gold around the onyx stones and then wrote the names of the sons of Israel on these gems, as a person carves words and designs on a seal. Then they attached the gems on the shoulder straps of the holy vest, as reminders of the twelve sons of Israel. This was done just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The skilled craftsmen made the chest covering like the holy vest; it was made of gold, and blue, purple, and red thread, and fine linen. The chest covering was square—nine inches long and nine inches wide—and it was folded double to make a pocket. Then they put four rows of beautiful jewels on it: In the first row there was a ruby, a topaz, and a yellow quartz; in the second there was a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald; in the third there was a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; in the fourth there was a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper. Gold was put around these jewels to attach them to the chest covering, and the names of the sons of Israel were carved on these twelve jewels as a person carves a seal. Each jewel had the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
They made chains of pure gold, twisted together like a rope, for the chest covering. The workers made two gold pieces and two gold rings. They put the two gold rings on the two upper corners of the chest covering. Then they put two gold chains in the two rings at the ends of the chest covering, and they fastened the other two ends of the chains to the two gold pieces. They attached these gold pieces to the two shoulder straps in the front of the holy vest. They made two gold rings and put them at the lower corners of the chest covering on the inside edge next to the holy vest. They made two more gold rings on the bottom of the shoulder straps in front of the holy vest, near the seam, just above the woven belt of the holy vest. They used a blue ribbon and tied the rings of the chest covering to the rings of the holy vest, connecting it to the woven belt. In this way the chest covering would not swing out from the holy vest. They did all these things the way the Lord commanded.
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…)
Holy Father, we commit to you the work already done today,
Bless the work of our hands and forgive our many errors,
That we may we be empowered to serve you ever more fully. 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.