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 Asaph.
The Lord, the Mighty One, is God,
and he has spoken;
he has summoned all humanity
from where the sun rises to where it sets.
From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines in glorious radiance.
Our God approaches,
and he is not silent.
Fire devours everything in his way,
and a great storm rages around him.
He calls on the heavens above and earth below
to witness the judgment of his people.
“Bring my faithful people to me—
those who made a covenant with me by giving sacrifices.”
Then let the heavens proclaim his justice,
for God himself will be the judge. Interlude
“O my people, listen as I speak.
Here are my charges against you, O Israel:
I am God, your God!
I have no complaint about your sacrifices
or the burnt offerings you constantly offer.
But I do not need the bulls from your barns
or the goats from your pens.
For all the animals of the forest are mine,
and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird on the mountains,
and all the animals of the field are mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for all the world is mine and everything in it.
Do I eat the meat of bulls?
Do I drink the blood of goats?
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
Then call on me when you are in trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory.”
But God says to the wicked:
“Why bother reciting my decrees
and pretending to obey my covenant?
For you refuse my discipline
and treat my words like trash.
When you see thieves, you approve of them,
and you spend your time with adulterers.
Your mouth is filled with wickedness,
and your tongue is full of lies.
You sit around and slander your brother—
your own mother’s son.
While you did all this, I remained silent,
and you thought I didn’t care.
But now I will rebuke you,
listing all my charges against you.
Repent, all of you who forget me,
or I will tear you apart,
and no one will help you.
But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honours me.
If you keep to my path,
I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”
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 said to Moses, “Speak to Aaron, his sons, and all the people of Israel. Tell them: ‘This is what the Lord has commanded. If an Israelite kills an ox, a lamb, or a goat either inside the camp or outside it, when he should have brought the animal to the entrance of the Meeting Tent as a gift to the Lord in front of the Lord’s Holy Tent, he is guilty of killing. He has killed, and he must be cut off from the people. This rule is so people will bring their sacrifices, which they have been sacrificing in the open fields, to the Lord. They must bring those animals to the Lord at the entrance of the Meeting Tent; they must bring them to the priest and offer them as fellowship offerings. Then the priest will sprinkle the blood from those animals on the Lord’s altar near the entrance of the Meeting Tent. And he will burn the fat from those animals on the altar, as a smell pleasing to the Lord. They must not offer any more sacrifices to their goat idols, which they have chased like prostitutes. These rules will continue for people from now on.’
“Tell the people this: ‘If any citizen of Israel or foreigner living with you offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, that person must take his sacrifice to the entrance of the Meeting Tent to offer it to the Lord. If he does not do this, he must be cut off from the people.
“‘I will be against any citizen of Israel or foreigner living with you who eats blood. I will cut off that person from the people. This is because the life of the body is in the blood, and I have given you rules for pouring that blood on the altar to remove your sins so you will belong to the Lord. It is the blood that removes the sins, because it is life. So I tell the people of Israel this: “None of you may eat blood, and no foreigner living among you may eat blood.”
“‘If any citizen of Israel or foreigner living among you catches a wild animal or bird that can be eaten, that person must pour the blood on the ground and cover it with dirt. If blood is still in the meat, the animal’s life is still in it. So I give this command to the people of Israel: “Don’t eat meat that still has blood in it, because the animal’s life is in its blood. Anyone who eats blood must be cut off.”
“‘If a person, either a citizen or a foreigner, eats an animal that died by itself or was killed by another animal, he must wash his clothes and bathe in water. He will be unclean until evening; then he will be clean. If he does not wash his clothes and bathe his body, he will be guilty of sin.’”
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.