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
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
not one of them does good!
The Lord looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.
But no, all have turned away;
all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
not a single one!
Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to the Lord.
Terror will grip them,
for God is with those who obey him.
The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed,
but the Lord will protect his people.
Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
When the Lord restores his people,
Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.
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 Lord again said to Moses in the Desert of Sinai, “Count the Levites by families and family groups. Count every male one month old or older.” So Moses obeyed the Lord and counted them all.
Levi had three sons, whose names were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
The Gershonite family groups were Libni and Shimei.
The Kohathite family groups were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.
The Merarite family groups were Mahli and Mushi.
These were the family groups of the Levites.
The family groups of Libni and Shimei belonged to Gershon; they were the Gershonite family groups. The number that was counted was 7,500 males one month old or older. The Gershonite family groups camped on the west side, behind the Holy Tent. The leader of the families of Gershon was Eliasaph son of Lael. In the Meeting Tent the Gershonites were in charge of the Holy Tent, its covering, the curtain at the entrance to the Meeting Tent, the curtains in the courtyard, the curtain at the entry to the courtyard around the Holy Tent and the altar, the ropes, and all the work connected with these items.
The family groups of Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel belonged to Kohath; they were the Kohathite family groups. They had 8,600 males one month old or older, and they were responsible for taking care of the Holy Place. The Kohathite family groups camped south of the Holy Tent. The leader of the Kohathite families was Elizaphan son of Uzziel. They were responsible for the Ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the tools of the Holy Place which they were to use, the curtain, and all the work connected with these items. The main leader of the Levites was Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, who was in charge of all those responsible for the Holy Place.
The family groups of Mahli and Mushi belonged to Merari; they were the Merarite family groups. The number that was counted was 6,200 males one month old or older. The leader of the Merari families was Zuriel son of Abihail, and they were to camp north of the Holy Tent. The Merarites were responsible for the frames of the Holy Tent, the braces, the posts, the bases, and all the work connected with these items. They were also responsible for the posts in the courtyard around the Holy Tent and their bases, tent pegs, and ropes.
Moses, Aaron, and his sons camped east of the Holy Tent, toward the sunrise, in front of the Meeting Tent. They were responsible for the Holy Place for the Israelites. Anyone else who came near the Holy Place was to be put to death.
Moses and Aaron counted the Levite men by their families, as the Lord commanded, and there were 22,000 males one month old or older.
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, you worked with your hands as a carpenter.
May we who labour upon the earth never cease to give you praise,
And know your loving presence with us.
We ask this for your glory. 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.