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 the descendants of Korah.
Listen to this, all you people!
Pay attention, everyone in the world!
High and low,
rich and poor—listen!
For my words are wise,
and my thoughts are filled with insight.
I listen carefully to many proverbs
and solve riddles with inspiration from a harp.
Why should I fear when trouble comes,
when enemies surround me?
They trust in their wealth
and boast of great riches.
Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death
by paying a ransom to God.
Redemption does not come so easily,
for no one can ever pay enough
to live forever
and never see the grave.
Those who are wise must finally die,
just like the foolish and senseless,
leaving all their wealth behind.
The grave is their eternal home,
where they will stay forever.
They may name their estates after themselves,
but their fame will not last.
They will die, just like animals.
This is the fate of fools,
though they are remembered as being wise. Interlude
Like sheep, they are led to the grave,
where death will be their shepherd.
In the morning the godly will rule over them.
Their bodies will rot in the grave,
far from their grand estates.
But as for me, God will redeem my life.
He will snatch me from the power of the grave. Interlude
So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich
and their homes become ever more splendid.
For when they die, they take nothing with them.
Their wealth will not follow them into the grave.
In this life they consider themselves fortunate
and are applauded for their success.
But they will die like all before them
and never again see the light of day.
People who boast of their wealth don’t understand;
they will die, just like animals.
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 Day of Cleansing
Now two of Aaron’s sons had died while offering incense to the Lord, and after that time the Lord spoke to Moses. The Lord said to him, “Tell your brother Aaron that there are times when he cannot go behind the curtain into the Most Holy Place where the Ark is. If he goes in when I appear in a cloud over the lid on the Ark, he will die.
“This is how Aaron may enter the Most Holy Place: Before he enters, he must offer a bull for a sin offering and a male sheep for a whole burnt offering. He must put on the holy linen inner robe, with the linen underclothes next to his body. His belt will be the cloth belt, and he will wear the linen turban. These are holy clothes, so he must bathe his body in water before he puts them on.
“Aaron must take from the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and one male sheep for a burnt offering. Then he will offer the bull for the sin offering for himself to remove sins from him and his family so they will belong to the Lord.
“Next Aaron will take the two goats and bring them before the Lord at the entrance to the Meeting Tent. He will throw lots for the two goats—one will be for the Lord and the other for the goat that removes sin. Then Aaron will take the goat that was chosen for the Lord by throwing the lot, and he will offer it as a sin offering. The other goat, which was chosen by lot to remove the sin, must be brought alive before the Lord. The priest will use it to perform the acts that remove Israel’s sin so they will belong to the Lord. Then this goat will be sent out into the desert as a goat that removes sin.
“Then Aaron will offer the bull as a sin offering for himself, to remove the sins from him and his family so they will belong to the Lord; he will kill the bull for the sin offering for himself. Then he must take a pan full of burning coals from the altar before the Lord and two handfuls of sweet incense that has been ground into powder. He must bring it into the room behind the curtain. He must put the incense on the fire before the Lord so that the cloud of incense will cover the lid on the Ark. Then when Aaron comes in, he will not die. Also, he must take some of the blood from the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the lid; with his finger he will sprinkle the blood seven times in front of the lid.
“Then Aaron must kill the goat of the sin offering for the people and bring its blood into the room behind the curtain. He must do with the goat’s blood as he did with the bull’s blood, sprinkling it on the lid and in front of the lid. Because the people of Israel have been unclean, Aaron will perform the acts to make the Most Holy Place ready for service to the Lord. Then it will be clean from the sins and crimes of the Israelites. He must also do this for the Meeting Tent, because it stays in the middle of unclean people. When Aaron makes the Most Holy Place ready for service to the Lord, no one is allowed in the Meeting Tent until he comes out. So Aaron will perform the acts to remove sins from himself, his family, and all the people of Israel, so they will belong to the Lord. Afterward he will go out to the altar that is before the Lord and will make it ready for service to the Lord. Aaron will take some of the bull’s blood and some of the goat’s blood and put it on the corners of the altar on all sides. Then, with his finger, he will sprinkle some of the blood on the altar seven times to make the altar holy for the Lord and clean from all the sins of the Israelites.
“When Aaron has finished making the Most Holy Place, the Meeting Tent, and the altar ready for service to the Lord, he will offer the living goat. He will put both his hands on the head of the living goat, and he will confess over it all the sins and crimes of Israel. In this way Aaron will put the people’s sins on the goat’s head. Then he will send the goat away into the desert, and a man who has been appointed will lead the goat away. So the goat will carry on itself all the people’s sins to a lonely place in the desert. The man who leads the goat will let it loose there.
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 another morning in Your House,
For the Word as pronounced to your people,
For the Worship as presented by your people,
For the Witness as proclaimed through your people,
And for the gathering of your Bride all over the world.
We ask your blessings upon the rest of this day,
May we enjoy Sabbath rest, renewed strength and a firmer hope,
As we run the race and stretch forth towards the prize. 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.